Caleb Joseph Slate
June 30, 2002 – August 12, 2019

forever 17

A beautiful life ended too soon

This is Caleb. Before his death, he worked as a Lifeguard and referee for youth soccer, was very active in his youth group and volunteered in the community regularly. He was really looking forward to his Senior year and had plans to attend MTSU for a degree in Sports Media and Journalism. He had so many goals, aspirations, hopes, dreams and a successful future in front of him.

His smile lit up a room, his personality was infectious, his faith was authentic and genuine. If you knew Caleb, you knew you’d always have a friend. He loved Tennessee football, VANS shoes, The Office, everything Marvel, Dr. Pepper, Doritos, Skittles and Spikeball. He was happy, full of life, lovable, caring, funny, smart, compassionate, very good natured, forgiving, a good listener, a loyal friend, respectful, helpful, trustworthy, easy going and so much fun to be around.

Caleb gave his heart to Jesus as a young boy and lived his life for the Lord. Jesus was the owner of Caleb’s heart, but loving and serving the Lord does not make you immune to tragedy. It does not protect you from being hurt and doesn’t prevent you from making a wrong turn or a bad decision.

In the weakest moment of his life, the enemy manipulated Caleb into feeling that his small circumstances were mountains he could never climb. That he would be taking a burden off of us if he were gone. That the goals he had for himself could never be achieved. He couldn’t see, he couldn’t think, he couldn’t feel when he completed suicide and died alone at home. With no warning and no explanation, he was gone in an instant. His death brought immense grief, heartache and sorrow. Caleb would never knowingly bring pain, suffering or sadness to anyone, especially his family. Impulsively and tragically he followed through on an action that he couldn’t take back. Caleb loved to love, and he loved to live. Death does not have the final word, life does. One moment does not now, and will not ever define Caleb.

This is how I will always remember my son. Not by a day, not by a moment, not by a choice, but by the way he lived, the way he loved, the way he laughed and the way he made me feel when he hugged me.

fun, loving and proud big brother

“This Year’s Goals”
Written Friday, August 9, 2019, with every intention of seeing them through.
A glimpse inside his heart…

“I’m sharing Caleb’s story in hopes that it might save a mother from having to experience this horrible tragedy of losing a child this way. I hope that moms and dads will not wait another second before they talk to their kids about what to do with suicidal thoughts, lies from the enemy, feelings as if their circumstances and shame will never change. I hope that you never have to walk into your child’s room in the morning and see their bed empty because of one unfathomable moment that changed everything. We didn’t make this topic a discussion priority in our home and I believe he would still be here if we had. Why didn’t we make it a priority? Because Caleb was always smiling, happy, positive, outgoing, silly, he did not isolate hisself from others, he participated in class and with friends, talked to us regularly about his struggles, was affectionate, was not depressed, happily served his community, was very active in youth group and church activities, encouraged his friends in their struggles, was a great employee at his job and loved Jesus, his family and friends with his whole heart. The answers to why he made a life ending choice lie with him, but our sweet Caleb did not die in vain! We know that our story can save lives and bring hope to those who are walking in deep grief.

– Caleb’s Mom –