#LIFESaver Families Profile: Robert Charles Martin
What is your loved one’s full name:
Robert Charles Martin
What was their date of birth & their age at the time of their passing?
December 23, 1998; 23 years-old
Tell us about your loved one: What five adjectives best describe the positive they brought to this world, that now shines on in how they impacted you and all those they touched?
Robert was a military BRAT. He was BRAVE – He never backed down from a challenge. He would go outside wherever we moved, and find a friend. RESILIENT- He took things in stride. Moving all the time wasn’t always fun, but he saw places he otherwise wouldn’t have seen. He picked up his first lacrosse stick and fell in love with the game. ADVENTUROUS – He was the only one on a family elk hunting trip to shoot an elk. He still is, after all these years. He loved the lake, boating, tubing, skiing, fishing. All the things. TEAMMATE – He was intense. He went 110% all the time, in practice, in a game, on the sideline. He expected the same from his teammates. You didn’t need to be perfect, you just needed to give it your best.
Robert was a beacon of light. He was always meeting new people. Listening to them, learning about them. They were important and he wanted to know them. If you were having problems, he would listen, he cared. He was there to help, whenever for whatever. If you were his friend, you were his family. If you were his teammate, you were his brother. You were welcomed, included, loved. He loved his family, he was the best brother/son. Robert gave THE BEST hugs.
All who were fortunate enough to have him in their lives, are forever changed. We will share his story, and never stop shining his light. He was simply the best.
To the extent that you feel comfortable, please tell us what you believe were the circumstances/contributing factors around your loved one’s passing.
Robert had talked about his struggles before his death. He had been taking courses that from how he was talking about them, seemed to help him understand how he was feeling. His final year of school was more of a struggle than we knew. He told his coach and team about his struggles in the fall. He came home for Christmas break and all seemed well. He was happy to be home with his family, to hang out with his brother JJ. Talking to him in the spring all seemed ok. I was there the week he died. We talked about his future plans. I told him I missed him already. What we didn’t know, but would later find out is he didn’t see himself in a place where he didn’t struggle. He felt like a burden.
What did you as a family wish you knew more about this topic in the year’s leading up to your loss?
We wish we knew more about the mental health struggles that can come with being a college athlete. To know where to find resources for student/athletes. To have the tools to keep the dialogue open.
Why did your family decide to go public about your loss, and why are you choosing to be so selfless in putting their/your story out there for others?
This group is full. It doesn’t need more families to join. This path is one we never saw ourselves on. We want people to see Robert, not just a student/athlete who died by suicide. We want Robert’s Mission to save lives, to educate others on how to help. To change the way people think about mental health.
What are the perceptions about suicide you would like your loved one’s story to help change?
Robert wrote “I’m scared that if I go to therapy and I’m honest about my suicidal thoughts, I’ll get sent away and my life won’t go back to normal. I’ll just be the suicidal kid”. “I’m nervous that if I go to someone, they’re gonna say nothing is wrong with me and I’ve curated this all myself as BS. Is that not what poor mental health is though? But there’s no way everyone feels the way I do, way more people would kill themselves if they did”. We NEED to change that perception. Nobody should feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, that nobody will believe them. That people will judge them. “Maybe people will learn something from my passing. Not sure what that will be, that’s for you guys to determine”.
Links and/or descriptions to any resources you would like to drive people to:
Instagram: @Piglet67 (PegMartin)
Facebook: Peggy Capouch Martin