The death of Sawyer Sweeten, 19, sent shock waves throughout the nation. The young actor’s death was specifically disturbing because he took his own life. Although Sawyer’s parents have experienced a devastating loss, they penned a loving tribute to their late son.
The tribute, which was written by Elizabeth and Jerry Gini and published by People, offers a candid glimpse into Sawyer Sweeten’s short life.
— CNN (@CNN) April 24, 2015
The former Everybody Loves Raymond star is described as a loving young man with a “beautiful personality.”
His parents said he enjoyed spending time with family, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and playing video games. He was also passionate about becoming a veterinarian, as he loved animals.
Although there is much speculation as to why the teen took his own life, Elizabeth and Jerry confirmed Sawyer did not suffer with “textbook depression.” They also underline the fact that their son “was not some tragic Hollywood kid who did drugs or became an alcoholic.”
Sawyer’s parents said there was no indication that the teen planned to commit suicide. Unfortunately, they did notice something was wrong in the days leading up to his death.
“He was happy, upbeat and loving. But in the last week of his life, we saw something happen. It was so rapid in progression that we were caught off-guard.”
Elizabeth and Jerry insist their son was “a normal young man.” However, Sawyer’s cousin, Jacklyn Stines, said the teen “had a lot of problems in school and had to be on medication.”
According to Stines, Sawyer Sweeten was diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities. Although he was treated with medication, Stines said the teen continued to struggle.
— People magazine (@people) April 29, 2015
As reported by Daily Mail, Stines also confirmed “there is a history of depression in the family.” She is specifically concerned about Sawyer’s twin, Sullivan, as the brothers were exceptionally close. In the months leading up to the tragedy, Sawyer and Sullivan purchased a home together in California.
Sawyer and Sullivan played twins Geoffrey and Michael Barone on the popular sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. The twins appeared in 139 episodes between 1996 and the series’ finale in 2005. Their sister Madylin, who played Ally Barone, appeared in 199 episodes of the same show.
Stines said each twin earned an estimated $75,000 per episode. However, the funds were deposited into a trust fund account. Although he had enough money to live comfortably, Stines said Sawyer was humble.
Sawyer Sweeten’s death shocked the nation and devastated his family and friends. Unfortunately, it may never been known why the teen decided to take his own life.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]