The Two Most Difficult Phone Calls I’ve Ever Had to Make  


“I have terrible news,” I said to Caryn. “I just got the phone call.”

“Which one?” she asked, bracing herself for one of the only two possibilities we ever talked about.

“Rob’s dead. He killed himself.”

All I remember after saying the words I had feared saying since Rob was a teenager is hearing Caryn cry like I’ve never heard anyone cry before. I’m trying to describe the sound to you, but nothing’s coming to me.

“I know, I know,” I said over and over again as I listened to her wail in agony. I remained calm but couldn’t think of anything else to say.

After a few minutes, I told her everything that the coroner and the police had told me and then we talked about telling Zach.

“Don’t call him at work,” Caryn said. “Wait until he gets home.”

“Okay,” I said, knowing that it would be impossible to wait.

I told her that I was going to the coroner’s office next to pick up Rob’s phone and keys, and then I was going to go to his apartment to see if there was a note or whatever the fuck I might find.

I don’t remember what either one of us said to end the call.

“One down, one to go,” I said to Maura. I texted Zach to make sure he was around and then I made call number two.

“Yo yo,” he answered like he always does.

“Yo, I have terrible news and there’s no easy way to say it. Rob died. He killed himself,” I said, getting the words out as fast as I could.

And then I heard almost the exact same kind of crying that came from Caryn only in a much deeper voice. And now I can describe it for you—it was the sound of our family being destroyed. I told him what I knew, we cried together and then I suggested that he just go home.

“I’ll call ya later and we’ll make a plan,” I said.

I don’t remember anything more than that, other than it was the worst day of our lives. 

5 thoughts on “The Two Most Difficult Phone Calls I’ve Ever Had to Make  

  1. Larry, I am so sorry. These words feel so empty, but I want you to know that I want to be able to be here, to read, to at least be witness to this ache, this loss. I am so sorry, my friend. For your entire family.

    Liked by 1 person

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