“We want to hear own your stories of hope, healing, and resilience in the face of loss…

“We want to hear own your stories of hope, healing, and resilience in the face of loss, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. We understand that sharing your story can be difficult, so we want to assure you that we will protect your anonymity and confidentiality. If you choose to share your story, please consider including the following information:
We also welcome stories of inspiration and hope. If you have a story of overcoming a mental health challenge or supporting someone through one, please share it with us!
Thank you for your willingness to share your story, 
Your experience can help others who may be going through a similar journey.


Thanking Andrew Zimmern for sharing his story here on The Houston Legacy Website.

It happens every year but this one is special. It is my 31st sobriety anniversary. Doing the math I’ve been sober more than half my life. 31 years ago I was a user of people and taker of things. I was a miserable and angry man who didn’t want to live.

I was homeless and tried to end my life in an old broken down hotel in New York called the San Pedro. One morning there I came to and Miraculously called my friend Clarke and utter the words I have never spoken before please help me. My life is never been the same since. If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol if you feel like the circumstances of your life are overwhelming, If the way you are living is not what you want please call somebody right now and ask for help. There truly is a way out and up. And to all of my sober brothers and sisters around the world Keep passing it on. The great factor is that to keep our new way of life we must dedicate ourselves to helping others. It’s a true thing I know. I cannot think my sponsor in the meadow sponsor enough. Without them I’m lost. Sharing this journey with you is the greatest blessing of my life I am so grateful.

Andrew Zimmern.

Chef, Writer, Traveler, TV Host @chefaz

Hi, thank you for creating this website site for your son and for people like me, and many others I’m sure.

first of all I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

I don’t have a lot  of words of hope encouragement or advice but here is my story.

I am originally from Germany, my father moved our family to Canada in 2010 for a job which required him to relocate.  I was 15, had to leave my friends and the only familiar existence I had ever known, moving was hard, but of course I had no choice. When my parents registered me into school I found adapting difficult and breaking into new circles which had already been long established almost impossible.

Kids were not willing to accept the new girl… I was different, I was shunned and ignored, I spent summers alone crying in my room, and dreaded every day school, I was never invited to parties. I found ways to eat my lunch alone behind the school and pretend everything was ok. It was not I was dying inside.

The next few years until graduation, did not improve, I don’t feel I ever fit in and my already depression grew worse. My parents had high demands on me to follow in my fathers foot steps in employment and labour law. (He works for Deloittes,) yet it was the furthest things from my mind. I found love after high school at university and finally felt a sense of belonging and peace, still undecided on my career path, it was 1 year and 4 months after I met my boyfriend he died in a tragic car accident. Again my depression worsened as I was driving!!!  to make a very long story short – I decided I could not take the ongoing pain of a life I was brutally unhappy and feeling I killed the only person who understood me.

In 2020 I tried to kill myself, I decided pills and dying in my sleep would be the answer, but that did not work, I was found by my landlord who was coming to fix the sink in the kitchen, when she couldn’t get in she used a master key, found me and I was rushed to the hospital and went to an induced coma, when I awoke my parents by my side, I remember the look the pain the tears in my mothers eyes and something right then and there changed me. I realized the thought of her pain losing me (an only child) would destroy her. Despite still feeling like life was not worth living I took the advice of my parents and some family members and the minister of our church and got the help I needed. After staying in a psychiatric after trying to end my life, I got a lot of counselling and on medication to help with my depression.

I watched your sons funeral on live and was absolutely devastated for you and your family. I now follow your Houston Stevenson legacy page and have seen first hand what losing a child this way does to a family, especially his mother. Your posts have been honest raw and real. While I still struggle with depression and anxiety, I want to thank you for this page as you have made an impact on me and many others. I will never truly understand the pain of losing a child, but thank you and your family opening up to the world! You are helping me and I want you to know once life has been positively impacted because of your ability to be vulnerable and share what losing a child looks like.



Losing Joe – Finding My Way Through Grief
Hi Ronnie, I came across your Instagram page @houstonstevenson a couple of months ago.  As I read each post and watched every video, I had an immediate connection from one mother to another mother who suffers in grief after the loss of a child, a son.  I lost my only son Joseph (Joe) on 5/28/2018.  It’s been five years yet feels still like 5 minutes, and 5 seconds, time is not relevant for those of us grieving our child. Joe was my firstborn, only son, I have 2 living daughters. He was and remains my center in life.  Joe died (that is still very hard to write much less say out loud), from an undetected heart disease and an accidental overdose of fentanyl. That word is even harder to write because Joe was much bigger than what he died from.  His life was huge and his heart was even bigger. He existed and his life meant something, his name deserves to be spoken and his life remembered.  I will do all I can to honor him until the day I die. 
An introduction to Joe:
Losing Joe – An Introduction To My Son’s Life” by Elaine M. Suarez
A Shift in My Grief:
My grief began to shift the day we moved out from the home we lived with Joe.  On February 1, 2023, my landlord informed me I had 60 days to move.  I cried for two weeks.  This move was going to break me I could feel it the moment he told me. How would I pack Joe’s things? Where would I put them in the new place?  I can’t do this I told myself, there’s no way I can do this!  But, I did. And, on April 1st we moved into a new house.  I prayed on the doorstep of the home we moved out of and I closed my eyes and prayed for Joe to hear me.  I imagined in my mind, Joe walking up to the front door and sitting next to me. I could feel his arm around me and him kissing me on the forehead like he always did, telling me, “Momma let’s go. I’m right here. I’m coming with you okay?  But, Mom it’s time to leave this place, I want you to have light and sunshine in your life. I’ll be right here, always.  Let’s go.”   So, I stood up walked to my car, and drove away.  Crying all the way to our new place.
This house has 4 big windows in the living room and 4 big windows in the kitchen. The sun radiates throughout the house and every morning I wake up I can see this beautiful tree in the front yard! On April 7, 2023, my Father (priest) came to bless our new home. After he was done he stayed to visit for a while.  My husband asked him a question, “How will we know if Joe is here? Did he come with us when we moved?  How will we know?”   Father told him, you’ll know, “You will feel his spirit somewhere or at some time of day, you’ll just know.”
That same afternoon I had a box of papers and things from my job I had retired from in 2018.  I told my husband to throw the box away. He asked again and told me I had that box sitting on the back porch for several days. I decided to go through the box at that moment. I sat down, piece by piece, throwing away papers until I came across a red binder. I recognized it because it was under my bed in the other house.  At the very back of the binder, in the pocket, I see two pieces of paper folded in half. 
This is what I found:
Two letters Joe had written to us when he was 19!  How and when those letters got inside that red binder I have no clue!  I don’t remember ever reading these letters and certainly did not put them at the back inside this particular binder!  I read each one and sat on the back porch and I cried, it hurt so deep yet it was also somehow joyful.  My husband came running from inside, I gave him his letter. He began to read it then walked into the garage and shut the door. I could hear him crying inside. 
That night before bed I prayed and I looked up and said THANK YOU to God for giving Joe that moment to send us his letters.  It was at that moment I realized Joe was with us. He came with us just like I imagined but it was real, not my imagination. Joe is here with us at this new home.  It was then I could feel something changed in me, my grief was shifting. I thought I was healing before the move but I wasn’t. I was there in the home I thought I needed to be for the remaining years of my life but that wasn’t the plan. I was going deeper and darker into the “Abyss” of grief.  Until, now.  
I believe Joe brought us to this home.  He pulled us out of the darkness and showed us there is still life in this world for us. He showed us he’s with us and how much he loves us and those letters, well, I BELIEVE without a doubt Joe got them to my hands. There was a reason I chose to not throw that box away. There was a reason it sat on the porch for several days.  There is a reason I need to keep living.  
Since that day, I feel different. The pain still exists and I still cry a lot. I miss Joe’s life every minute of each day. I know he’s with me and I know he’s going to be waiting for me when I have finished my job here on this earth.  For the first time, I can honestly say I feel joy inside my heart. Something I haven’t felt in 5 years. I am going to be okay and I am going to live my life while I’m still here. Joe, he’s right beside me and I will see him again, I will run to his arms and never let him go.  My beautiful son Joseph Anthony Suarez, “We are forever a team.”
I apologize for the lengthy email. It’s really hard to be brief when it comes to Joe.  Ronnie,  I want you to know this… healing is real, and it is possible to live while healing, I know this because I’m doing it.  Never thought I’d be here, living, but I am.  I’m living, walking, and healing every day of my life for Joe, my daughters Allie & Juliana, my grandbabies Ella, Aris & Jet, and my husband Izzy. I have a purpose, a job to finish here. Joe, he is with me at peace. 
Thank you for reading my story. Feel free to pull any of the above for your page of stories from those of us grieving.  I hope one day we can meet and share more about our incredible sons. 
Say his name:
Sending Love and Prayers from
Elaine Suarez
Joe’s Momma🤍✨🕊️🤍✨

Hi Ronnie,

Thank you for sharing your sons story… My brother took his own life 5 years ago and I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my ever so shattered heart.. We were 16 months apart he was my best friend growing up..

He had a heart of gold and was always my cheerleader as I was his he lost his battle to PTSD after serving his country for almost 30 years.. He was a Cobra helicopter pilot for the US Army served in Desert Storm and in Afghanistan for 10 years off and on.. 22 Veterans take their lives daily!! It’s astonishing how many people accidentally kill themselves or in my brothers case purposely take their own life.. Suicide has such a negative sound no one wants to talk about it.. It’s embarrassing or God is against it you won’t go to heaven on and on… Very few look at the person and say their pain must of been so great…

Please keep sharing and bringing light to this epidemic in our country..

Warmly, Juanita

Hi Ronnie,
I am very sorry for you loss. I am praying for you and your family. I want to say thank you for sharing your most painful life experience with the world. 
I needed to read Beautiful Houston’s page. I live with depression and suicidal ideation every day.It started when I was seven years old, I’m fifty four now. There are good days and extremely bad days. I didn’t have anyone to talk to and I was embarrassed.  I began going to threapy and taking medication in my forties. I started praying and crying out to God especially during covid. That’s when it was the worst. I wanted to die, but then I didn’t. I really wanted the pain of loneliness, trauma,  and past hurts to go away. I found more help in my bible.The one scripture in the Bible that helps me is Psalm 23, it’s my favorite. It helps me to remember,  “The Lord is my shepherd.” And, He will lead and guide me. You are so special!!
You went through  an unimaginable loss and you are reaching out to others with love, hope, help, and encouragement. Thank you for your love, strength,  and courage. I need people like you and so do others.
Sent with love, Anon.

Ronnie, thank you for sharing the deepest parts of your painful journey.

I am so in awe of your courage and strength. Your son Houston had a wonderful life and family and all that changed in a single moment. I am deeply sorry for the pain you are forever going to live with. 

My 27 year old son, has a life changing illness. This illness is causing him to fall into a very deep, dark depression. He has struggled with alcohol as well. He is hanging on. But he often feels hopeless.

I plan to share this amazing site with him. I am terrified he will continue to spiral down. But I have hope because of your kindness and openness to share your reality with us.

Thank you. I know you WILL save lives.

Love and prayers always to you and your family 


Kevin Hines is one of 25 survivors who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.

The millisecond after Kevin Hines jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge to the bay below he felt instant regret. I said to myself what have I done, I don’t I don’t want to die, God please save me. Recalls Hines, of his suicide jump in September 2000. The moment I hit freefall was an instant regret – I recognize that I made the greatest mistake in my life and I thought it was too late.
He miraculously survived. Heinz who suffers from bipolar disorder and says he stays alive and well with a combination of therapy, medication, exercise and other means, no travels the world to share his story. He also Wrote about his suicide attempt and recovery in his moving memoir, cracked not broken and surviving and thriving after a suicide attempt.
Hines once spoke at the University of Pennsylvania were 10 students have died by suicide in the last three years. My goal is to try to instill hope in one individual, so that one individual says ‘maybe I can stay here maybe there are tools to fight this.’ Over the years Hines has helped save numerous lives including people he has met one on one. 
Heinz knows how lucky he is to have survived his suicide attempt. Since it was erected in 1937 more than 1700 people have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco California, and just 25 are known to have survived, According to Robert Olson of the centre for suicide prevention in Calgary, Canada Olson notes that the Golden Gate is a particularly lethal means of killing oneself while the average survival rate of bridge suicide attempts is 15 percent those off the Golden Gate bridge is just 4 percent.
On September 25, 2000, Hines, then 19, took a bus to the bridge. He paced the pedestrian walkway in tears he says he had voices in his head telling him to die but he also feverently  wished someone would ask him what was wrong. I said to myself if one person comes up to me and says are you OK? Is something wrong? Can I help you? I was going to tell them my whole life story and they were going to make me safe.
It’s not very logical, he adds. “The nature of a suicidal person is to be a irrational.” But his desire to die overwhelmed him. The voices in my head were so great, so loud, that you couldn’t fathom unless you were inside my head, screaming, “You must die, jump now,” he recalls. It was the most horrid, emotional, turmoil I’ve ever experienced and I could not control myself. 
As Hines landed in the water after his 220 foot freefall he shattered and crushed three vertebrae. When I resurfaced and I was trying to stay afloat, I was thinking I am going to drown ? As I was bobbing up and down in the water, I was saying I don’t want to die, God I made a mistake, he recalls. He says a sea lion kept pushing him above the water surface until the Coast Guard rescued him, after he recovered from surgery, Hines entered into Psychiatric care at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco the first of seven inpatient stays to deal with his depression paranoia and hallucinations.
During that first day, Hines met a priest who encouraged him to share his story, It is the thing that changed my life forever he says of the meeting, about seven months after the jump a hesitant Hines gave his first talk to 127 seventh and eighth graders “I was freaking out he says I was a mess.” 
About two weeks later, the children sent him letters-the letters had been screened, and several kids received the help they needed to deal with their painful issues. “A story helps them decide to be honest about their pain’” says Hines when that happened I said to my father dad we have to do this anyway anywhere we can this is how it all started.
Heinz admits that he still struggles with paranoia and suicidal thoughts, but he hopes that by telling his story, he will inspire others to open up and realize, “I can help myself today,” he says.
He urges anyone who sees someone suffering and in pain like he was the day on the Golden Gate bridge, or whom they suspect may be having suicidal thoughts to reach out. This suicidal person “needs to hear what I needed to hear,” he says. “That we care about you, your life does matter and then all we want is for you to stay,” he says “if someone had looked at me on that bridge or bus and said that to me I would have begged for help.”
He urges anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1800-273 TALK (8225) – US 

Hello everyone!


Firstly to Ronnie, her beautiful family and loved ones who’ve helped piece this website together in honour of Houston’s legacy, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Sharing something so painful and personal is never easy, I hope the awareness you’re creating and sharing with the world can at least bring you some comfort. 

Even through such heartbreak you’re still so selfless, considerate and caring of others. 

I so admire that! 

You’ve helped me massively and made me realise just how short life is…


For the past couple of years I’ve been struggling with depression, mental health problems and suicide attempts…

It all started after I had to close my landscaping/groundworks business down due to a back injury, which left me bed bound for some time, leaving me alone in my four walls with my thoughts… not good.  


I was so lost, I’ve worked from the age of 15 and to be told at the age of 26 (at the time) that I needed to stop everything because I didn’t realise how bad my injuries were was a big thing for me to adjust to! I started drinking, stopped eating, stopped seeing family and friends and got so hooked on the pain medication I just thought is this it? This is my life now? 

I wasn’t given a time frame of when the operations would be done so that I could get back to what I loved. 

I kept myself locked away from the world, just sleeping and being stuck in the same 4 walls to the point where when I started to get out and about again I’d developed such anxiety, it was all so crippling.

To this day I’m still in pain, and then 3 overdoses later, I now have further health complications which I’m on medication for until I’m back to good health. 

I just didn’t want to live that way, having to depend on people to help me do the daily tasks that I was once so capable of, it felt so degrading, embarrassing and exhausting even, having to ask for help was something I wasn’t used to. 

Everything got to me and then the financial stresses hit me, they still affect me now, and back then it just felt like the universe was trying to see how far I’d bend before I broke. 


The most recent time was just before Houston had passed, I’d lost and buried my great nan, it absolutely destroyed me and quite literally pushed me over the edge. But luckily I survived, and seeing just how much I’d hurt my people by doing what I did gave me the wake up call I needed. 


Soon came the devastating news that Houston had left this world, and my heart broke for you all, I can’t imagine the pain you’re all feeling. 

But what I can tell you is the LOVE that Houston had for his family is evident, and through this he’s given you the strength and courage to share his story and help so many others like myself to reach out, speak up and get out of that dark place… of course I still have my bad days as we all do, but in those times I’ll often look for inspiration, whether that be through quotes, music, a film, checking up on Houston’s legacy page, speaking to Ronnie, family and friends.. it all helps!


You’re truly amazing, it’s just what Houston would’ve wanted, and it’s what your family are all about. 


Ronnie he was an absolute credit to you, as are all of your children. 

You have a wonderful family. I’m so proud of you all, and for the inspiration and strength you’ve given me to soldier on I will be forever thankful for. 


Please don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, and check on your people, time with our loved ones is so precious. 

And remember that YOU matter, YOU have a purpose! 


We’ve got this!


All my love, 

Tyler xxx

I lost my brother two years ago to a drug overdose.

He was very depressed and always said he wished he was dead.

They found him passed out of the floor and could not bring him back. He was on life support for a few days but brain dead.

My situation is a little different as my brother was an addict, but the pain and loss is the same.

Depression and addiction is a horrible combination.



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