On April 29th, 2013, our son and brother, Nick Pacha, took his own life at the University of Minnesota. He was just two weeks short of finishing his freshman year and coming home for the summer.
Young adults frequently struggle with many issues in today’s world, and suicides often cannot be associated with any one given event or condition. That was the case with Nick. His death has caused us indescribable grief; but as tragic as Nick’s death was, it just wouldn’t be right to not share his story in an effort to help other kids, young adults, and their families. Helping others was a hallmark of his life. He would want us to reach out to others through Nick’s Network of Hope, so other people would not have to endure the same loneliness and emotional pain he suffered.
Our son and brother was a kind, good natured, charitable person with a strong, spiritual, guiding light. Nick had a pure heart and provided an exemplary example for us all to follow. He never hurt or placed a burden on anyone, sometimes to a fault. He would rather apologize for things that weren’t his fault than ever cast aspersions on another. Nick never complained: not even at the end.
Like most teenagers and young adults, socialization with his peers was of paramount importance to Nick. Perhaps because he was always mature beyond his years, Nick found it easy to communicate and interact with adults, but often found it difficult to assimilate and associate with others his own age. Having a few close friends was what Nick wanted most in life; but no matter how hard he tried, he was never able to form the bonds with his peers that most young people take for granted and identify as the core of their social existence. Nick felt alone, isolated, and rejected, and without any hope that things would ever get any better.
Nick found it difficult to live in this world. If any of you are experiencing any of Nick’s feelings of loneliness, rejection, isolation, or hopelessness, know that you are not alone. If you have strong family support, lean on them; they love you unconditionally. But sadly, sometimes familial support is not there, or is not enough. Seek professional help, and they will make every effort to help you. For those of you who sense that others around you are struggling, Nick would certainly want you to know that one text, one phone call, one act of human kindness, can go a long way.
We wish that Nick could have seen all of his peers coming up to the podium for an hour straight after his Memorial Service; one by one giving heartfelt testimonies of how Nick positively impacted their lives. He never knew how much people cared or how well he was perceived in life. If he had, he would still be here.
The world lost a special person when we lost Nick, and heaven gained a spirit of unworldly grace and kindness.
May peace and love always guide you. Remember, there is always hope. You are very important and loved more than you know.