Bridge Jumper's Mom Issues Statement

She witnessed son Stephen Beckman's leap from the Oso Bridge, and says he was unselfish, "kind and generous to his core."

A statement from Colleen Kelly, mother of Stephen Beckman, who was declared dead Tuesday, three days after :

For those of you who have offered your prayers and sympathies to our family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Many of you have sincerely inquired on my son’s condition. As the news outlets are now reporting, he has been pronounced dead. He had struggled with mental illness (the specifics of which are his personal business) that proved too difficult to overcome. He was in a great deal of pain; now he is at peace.

It is true that my son had a baby daughter. She turned 1 on Friday and was truly the brightest light in his life. Unfortunately, her mother had not allowed her to see her father since January. He was working through the courts to obtain visitation; however, the long and exhausting process and the six months without his daughter were devastating to him.

My son was quite simply the most loving, giving person I have ever known. He had a kind and gentle heart. He knew only one way to love—unconditionally. A hospital spiritual advisor summed it up best: for those who feel as deeply as he did, the world can be too cruel for his big heart to handle.

I understand that some believe my son’s act to be selfish. Please understand that my son did not have a selfish bone in his body. He was kind and generous to his core. He not only stopped to give money to the homeless, he engaged them, learned their story, let them know they mattered, hugged them and told them he loved them. He recently asked me why love and kindness aren’t taught in school. He was on a mission to fill that gap and spread it through his community.

we learned that he was a registered organ donor. His last act of selflessness is to give life to others.

My son had a strong belief in how the understanding of something could be shifted by one’s perspective. So, although this is a tragedy, and the hole in our hearts will never heal, our lives have been blessed with this young man for 22 years. We are so grateful to God for this gift.

While on the bridge I was aided by a truly remarkable human being. T, I know that you are struggling with what you witnessed. Please know that there was nothing more that you, or any of us, could do. Stephen’s fate was in God’s hands and he is with Him now. Your kindness and humanity will live in our family’s hearts forever.

To any parents reading this–PLEASE love your children unconditionally and teach them kindness toward others.

To my beautiful son, I simply echo the words you recently wrote to me, “I love you forever. I’ll see you soon.”

Ursula July 14, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. I am a police officer and I witnessed the same thing almost 8 years ago. The same exact way with someone I didn't know. It still sends tears to my eyes today when I think of that experience and for a mother to witness this I can only feel your pain right now. I had to get counseling for 4 months because I couldn't get away from that image. Getting help and talking it out does help. The pain will be there always but you learn to cope with it better. My heart sincerely goes out to you and the family. God bless you all and may God continue to give you the strength to deal with this tragedy. Ursula
Amanda Beal July 15, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I will never forget stephen :) my heart hurts that such a loyal and kind person is gone. he helped me threw my horrible 8 years of living in rancho he was the only kid that had something kind to say to me and something stupid and dorky to make me laugh i remember him like it was yesterday my first day at arroyo vista elementry school half threw school year and i was not happy.as i pointed to my seat i sat down and next to me this blonde spikey haired kid says "hey im stephen" lol i had a new seat by the end of the week he was a bright part in our classroom always making people laugh and smile never was there a moment where he didnt have compassion growing up from 5th grade to his straight edge(no sex no drugs or alcohol) days in jr high and threw out high school he compassion and love always carried on. the loss hurt and send love and prays to his family but like collen said he is at peace and love lives on.
JAO July 17, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Colleen, A mother’s love never dies and Stephen is with you everyday. Remember you never gave up. You were there every day doing all that you could. Your words will touch me forever. Even when I second guess what I am doing daily as a Mom with a son that struggles like Stephen did....I’m always seeking the right help and counseling & just loving my son daily hoping and praying it is enough.
Margie Fleitman July 23, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Colleen...my heart goes out to you, I am so sorry for your loss. Life and this world is too big and too cruel sometimes for those that are challenged in life. I know this too well, as I have also lot my son two years ago. Not everyone around you judges Stephen's choices he made that day. It is not for anyone to judge and reading your message about how giving your son was...that is certainly not how I think either. He has given the ultimate gift...the gift of his life and his organs to extend and save the life of others. How could anyone ever think of that as selfish? The stigma that surrounds mental health issues, drug addiction and suicide has got to stop. These problems do not discriminate and could affect any family, at any time. When our children suffer from any of theses issues and die, their deaths are somehow treated as "less than tragic", somewhat less significant. This is not true! A loss of any child for any reason is devastating to a family and the aftermath of how a family is blamed and judged when they lose a child to mental health/suicide is heartbreaking. Stephen's life should only be celebrated. I did not know him but I sure wish I did. I know him now through your loving tribute for your son. Always remember the bond and love you have for your child does not end but it will continue to grow ever stronger. As Stephen is an extension of you, you will always be an extension of him. (There is a great parent support group in Tustin at the YMCA.)
MMW July 26, 2012 at 04:21 AM
This article is perfectly written. Colleen you are nothing short of amazing. I always wished I could be the mother you've been to those boys. How you've managed to stay strong throughout the last year is unfathomable to me, and everyone who knows you. Who is blaming the baby's mother? As far as I can read, only the facts have been stated, rather than placing blame on anyone. The fact is Stephen had not seen his daughter since January. That is not placing blame. It also doesn't support the claim that she wanted to raise the baby together. If she is so kind and loving and all of the things mentioned in previous comments, then why has she not taken her child to visit her paternal grandmother? Especially when Colleen is suffering the worst tragedy imaginable. It seems that if the mother of Stephen's child was as wonderful as the comments imply, she would allow Colleen to spend time with her granddaughter. I hope some of the people who know the mother (as stated in the above comments) can encourage her to let Stephen's entire family have access to the baby. Colleen has never blamed the mother or anyone else for these tragic events. If you are lucky enough to know her, you already know that she is an amazing mother, friend and grandmother. Stephen was lucky to have her on his side throughout his entire life. Stay strong Colleen. You are truly amazing.


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