The grieving mother of a 12-year-old boy who committed suicide has shared photos of her son’s open casket at his funeral as part of a plea to other parents to help stop bullying. Cheryl Hudson said that her son, Andrew Leach, had faced near-constant harassment from other kids after he came out as a bisexual.
“I didn’t know how to handle it. His dad did talk to a teacher one time,” Hudson told WREG. “But from what we are hearing, there was a group of kids that would go around calling him fat, ugly and worthless.”
In a Facebook post, the devastated mother shared images from her son’s open casket funeral (which can be seen here, though some readers may find the image upsetting).
“I, as a mother, am absolutely crushed. I say I’ve cried all I can cry, but then moments later, I break down again,” she wrote. “My child was such a sweet-natured, fun-loving kid who was easily a Momma’s boy and I don’t think I’ll ever get over this. All your prayers and support have been humbling and overwhelming and I thank you all for everything you’ve done.”
The family has created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for Andrew’s funeral, with any remaining funds to be used to pay for an anti-bullying rally in Desoto County, Mississippi. In another Facebook post, Hudson asked local parents to speak up if their child was also being bullied and to send her names of any bullies that they knew of.
“These bullies are going to be taken care of,” said Hudson. “I buried my baby on Friday. I know you parents out there don’t want this to happen to you. It’s the most heartbreaking thing in the world.”
Read the full story at PEOPLE.