Seth Bartosik

We never thought we would be where we are today. We didn’t think, as I’m sure many other suicide survivors would agree, we would ever be in this place. The place where loss fills your thoughts and heart each day and makes you ask, “why”. The question on constant repeat, why? The reason we’re here and have created a non-profit called Project Seth is because we lost our son, Seth in June of 2014. It’s difficult to let go of the idea he’ll walk in the door, leave a dirty dish in the sink, grab his longboard and go for a ride, text with his plan for the day, or call just to chat. Those daily rituals of family life that make you feel complete are seemingly unimportant until you don’t have them to fill your life. Being a parent is the best job you will ever have and the best gift is the child you laugh with, lay awake worrying about, give a pat on the back, grab a bandage for…it’s endless and rewarding. We’ll always be Seth’s parents and we want to do what we feel we must do by honoring Seth and hopefully making him proud of us just like we are proud of him.

Honoring Seth

Seth stressed the importance to not judge anyone, “you do not know what has happened to that person in their life”. We’re here because we don’t want any young adult to feel “judged” or alone without the means to find help. We don’t want any other parents, family, or friends to go through the tragedy of suicide. We’ll admit we don’t know everything there is to know about suicide or battling depression, but with the help of counselors and survivors we can help give young adults the support they may need, empower them to be the person they want to be, and to know there are other ways to overcome depression. We want them to be happy and know how important they are to us.

Letters From Loved Ones

I can’t explain the sadness that overwhelms me when I think of Seth. Seth touched so many lives and he still does. His smile would brighten anybody’s day. Seth was such a sweetheart! I remember him laughing and running around the pool as a child! He liked to have fun- I see that never changed as he grew into an awesome young man! Seth had so much potential, I’m so sad he just never realized he could have done anything he set his mind to. Seth had a great sense of humor- he was so quick to come back with a response that you didn’t even have time to digest what you had said and he was already answering. I could go on continuously about what a great guy he was. I need to believe he’s somewhere now doing all the great things that he was supposed to do here! Love you Seth!

Dawn Sutherland

For my wedding toast, Seth’s speech started with “sometimes life works in unfair ways. We can’t always control the outcome, but we can control who we are.”

Jill Schuler

They say suffering leads to compassion,

I never knew it was true until I sit here remembering and reflecting on you.

We picture your smile, hear your laughter and your jokes

But it was what you never showed that I tend to picture most.

I see you standing like a statue at that grave,

But only now I see you picturing how yours would be made

I reflect on how you saved us all in the moments when life was hell,

But I wish you would’ve had the strength left over to save yourself.

Seth, your pain is something I will remember all my life;

I heard the heartache in your words and I wish I could have made it right.

Maybe your story and our love for you can hold someone’s hand.

In a moment when it feels like life’s greatest gift would be to end.

I’m only sorry I couldn’t save you, my beautifully tragic friend.

Rylee Vaughn

When his two younger cousins, Sophia (9) and Alexsa (7) were asked how they would want to be like Seth in some way, these were their answers: generous, learn to skateboard, nice, goofy, wear beanies, and love family. I think that speaks volumes as to the type of young man he was for his little cousins to pick up on his generosity, niceness, and love for family. The best thing about the definition of family in Seth’s case is not limited to just relatives by DNA, but all the friends he met along the way that quickly became his extended family.

Megan Foley