Suicide  Bullying  depression

May 11, 1991 - March 16, 2007

Austin was sweet, generous, kind and intelligent.  He wanted to be himself and  He was a friend to those who needed one.  He impacted so many lives with his effervescent spirit.  He gave with his heart without expecting anything in return, other than fairness.

Since Austin was in 2nd grade he had wanted to become a veterinarian.  He volunteered at two veterinarian clinics. 

Animals came to him naturally; they instinctually knew he was gentle and loving.  He knew that he could completely be himself around the animals because they did not judge him.  Austin was a 1st degree black belt in Taikwondo, a member of the cross country team, and involved in the student senate.
Austin was small in stature and because of his nice, sweet personality he was occasionally bullied throughout his school years.  He didn't like attention drawn to him so he chose to be present without fan fare.  He was just starting to appreciate his smaller stature, although he was starting to grow in leaps and bounds.

Unfortunately, the kids with the low self esteem slowly grated away Austin's healthy self esteem until he must have thought, if he couldn't be himself, then why be at all.  When did having a healthy self esteem and just wanting to be yourself, become so unpopular?  On March 16, 2007, Austin completed suicide.

Austin must have worn a mask that covered his pain; a pain that was not visible to any of his friends, teachers, and especially his family.   If he would have shown his intentions in any way, we would have changed the world for him.  People who complete suicide have no idea the pain and agony of those left behind; it only transfers the pain from themselves to their loved ones left behind.  In retrospect there must have been other forces at work that led him to this decision, but we feel the bullying had a major impact on how he thought and communicated his feelings.

Austin not only touched our family with his sweet, tender heart, but many others as well.  After Austin's death, many families came to us sharing stories about how special this young man was to their family by him offering his friendship and thoughtfulness. 

Our family will never be the same.  There will always be a part of us missing that will never be filled.  We look at life differently.  We wear wrist bands with the words, "INSPIRE" and "JUST PLAY" in honor of Austin's inspiring spirit and what he loved to do more than anything in this world.

So I suggest to you; 
Honor your spirit 
And take time 
To just... Play.
For those who read this, and have lost a loved one to bullycide, please accept our heartfelt sympathy.  And to those who did not complete suicide, but are still struggling with the aftermath, our hearts go out to you as well.

Sharon and Brad Murphy
Proud parents of Austin M. Murphy

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