Ari's Benevolent Fund
Organized by: Janice D
On Dec 18/2015, my husband, Richard, died suddenly and tragically from a blunt force trauma to his head which took place at the hands of our 20-year-old son Ari. I am appealing to the empathy and benevolence of readers in the hope that you will be moved to assist our family during this time of emotional grief and enormous financial need.
For the last couple years, Richard and I had been struggling with our son Ari's unstable mood and behavior which were due to his mental illness affliction. We researched and utilized a number of local resources to get him help but, like so many others, Ari was resistant, despite two brief hospitalizations in 2015. Our mental health system can only do so much when the unwell person is over age 18 and refuses to be treated.
Then, on Dec 18, the unthinkable happened. At 11:30 a.m. I had 'normal' phone conversations with both Richard and Ari. In the space of half an hour after these phone conversations, 911 received Ari’s phone call that his father was dead. Minutes later he was taken into police custody and charged with murder in the first degree.
I have had virtually no time to mourn the loss of Richard, because I need to be strong and hopeful for Ari so that he’ll stop trying to end his life. Needless to say, he is tormented with the guilt of the events and actions that we know were caused by his illness. He is currently incarcerated in a psychiatric forensic facility almost four hours by car from my home.
For 30 consecutive days, Ari was physically restrained to a bed, with mechanical restraints on each wrist, each ankle, and around his waist. He was prevented from feeding himself or performing his own bathroom tasks. This is a sight no parent should ever have to witness. Imagine standing by your child's bedside, with the instruction not to approach him for fear that he might try to strike you. Even with the restraints, one staff member is in the room with us and three others are on guard outside the room. Psychiatric prisons are not the place for privacy. Then imagine standing beside his bed as he suddenly stuffs his styrofoam coffee cup into his mouth in an effort to choke himself. This behavior abruptly ends our visit and I have to collect myself enough so that I can drive home.
Though these tragic events are still beyond my comprehension, I know that Richard would want to continue giving Ari all the unconditional love and support possible. In the spirit of Richard’s gracious nature, we ask you to please extend your generous financial support though this website. One private individual alone has donated $15,000.00; and yet the need remains enormous.
We thank you.