During Suicide Prevention Month in Humboldt, a Family Loses Their Father

Family of Hydesville man that committed suicide

This family lost their father to suicide earlier this week. [Photo used with the family’s permission]

On Tuesday, Luke Compton took his life. He left his four young children under 12 and his wife, Candi. When he died, he also added to one of Humboldt County’s darkest statistics. In a cruel irony, he ended his life during Suicide Prevention Month in Humboldt County which has one of the highest rates of suicide in California.

Compton’s family are struggling to deal with not only his death but the manner in which he died. Because of the social stigma surrounding suicide, many people hesitate to acknowledge the cause of their loved one’s death and they worry about how much to reveal.

Friends often struggle to find the right words to comfort family left behind. They may be afraid to say or do the wrong thing. A suicide support site offers this advice, “Many people feel awkward and nervous when first spending time with a suicide bereaved person. It will take some time to learn how to respond. It is okay to feel awkward but you don’t need to let it prevent you showing support.” (Click here for some more ways to be helpful.)

The Humboldt community is trying to help Compton’s family financially. A GoFundMe site seeks to raise money for Compton’s four children. In just two hours Thursday night, the site raised almost $500.

Remember: Every day, an average of 121 people die by suicide in the United States. In California, on average, a person kills themselves every two hours.

Below are links that could save a life if you or someone you know needs help:

Here are some links to help families and friends of those who have killed themselves:

Humboldt County has a calendar of activities for Suicide Prevention Month. We’ve posted it below:
Suicide PRevention month

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28 comments

  • My heart breaks.its true when someone takes their life it’s hard to find the words to comfort their loved ones left behide.Even saying “I’m sorry” is difficult. I’m praying that as time passes it becomes easier for you. God Bless this family and help them thru the tough times🙏

  • Om mani padme hum, a tragic event. 💛💐

  • Candi I am so sorry that this happened to you. After your grieving time you will remember the happy times. I am sure that there were many. Give your kids a hug from “Aunt Carole” I will pray for you and your family.

  • I can’t imagine the dark crushing despair that would drive a man to abandon such a beautiful family, especially at such vulnerable ages.

    • Honest to the point of recklessness...

      Yes , and be thankful you cant. He was an amazing man, husband and wonderful father. But mental health issues, living rurally, worrying about where your next meal is coming from. Dont judge, donate to this poor family.

      • You are so right, and thank you for saying it. Suicide is something that can and does happen even in the so-called “best of families.” Like so many issues that may be difficult for some to discuss: the act of suicide does not discriminate based upon who one is or what they have. It is not for us to judge, especially when loved ones are left behind to grieve and agonize about what “could have been done” to prevent it and in their pain and confusion, will likely question things for a long time to come.

        Sometimes the best and maybe only thing we can do is to come to accept the fact that we cannot have all the answers, however desperately we may want them.

        Please let us not concern ourselves with trivial matters of feeling awkward about what to say to those in pain, but instead hopefully rise above our own often petty concerns to extend a hand of support as we would hope might be there in our own times of need. Often simply being present–no words necessary–means so much and is a great comfort. Maybe just someone to listen while completely reserving all personal opinions and focusing only on what’s important at these times which is compassion.

        By no means whatsoever does Luke’s final act define who he was as a person in his life nor is it any kind of reflection upon those he loved. I’m sure he loved his family dearly, and unfortunately: was likely unable to see another option out and away from his own private struggles when they became too overwhelming.

        Ms. Compton and family: I am terribly sorry for your loss. I extend my deepest condolences to you and all who loved Luke. I will be praying for all of you during your time of need and keeping you all close in thought.

  • All it takes to become suicidal is being in pain- mental or physical- without any belief that it will ever be otherwise. Then suicide seems like a rational solution. The hackneyed phrase ‘end it all’ is exactly right.

    I’m not at all sure that a superficial ‘awareness of the issue’ is anywhere near as important as creating an environment that creates satisfaction in general. The burden of endless negativity weighs on many people who can not find an escape. If so many weren’t dragged down by this relentless pressure, created by those to work their own agenda, there might be enough resources to help those who are more prone to such thinking.

    Humboldt Co is not an uplifting social environment. At least those uplifting the atmosphere are overwhelmed by those demanding attention for their negativity. Carp, carp, carp. Heck, we seem to import them the minute things are looking up.

  • My heart goes out to your family.please stay strong!

  • So so sorry for your loss!!!

  • Thanks to Kim for posting this heart rendering story. I urge those in Southern Humboldt to attend the event, Wed. Sept. 20th, 5:30-7:00 in Redway at the Family Resource Center located on the Whitmore Ave. side of the Redway School grounds.

  • Honest to the point of recklessness...

    Yes , and be thankful you cant. He was an amazing man, husband and wonderful father. But mental health issues, living rurally, worrying about where your next meal is coming from. Dont judge, donate to this poor family.

  • Ive lost three loveded ones to suicide. It was a matter of short term depression+alcohol+handguns.

    • That’s why humboldt has such a high percentage of male suicides. Isolation + money +drugs + alcohol and access to firearms. Sad. Lost a lot of friends this way. Sobriety and one will prevail.

  • Left Behind by Suicide

    My sincere condolences to the wife and children of that poor man. The pain, sadness, and desperation he must have felt to make that decision…..

    I know all too well the pain and confusion they are experiencing now. My father killed himself when I was 10, and the emotional pain and anger from that moment has stayed with me until very recently. Years and years of therapy and I have finally found a way to forgive him, and with that, all the anger I have carried with me for decades has faded away. Life is so much more enjoyable when love is in your heart, not anger. The love and connections with my wife and children are so much stronger now.

    My greatest wish for this man’s wife and children is this: I hope they find the strength and support they need to persevere through the dark times ahead, and that they not just survive, but thrive in their futures. Their love as a family will bring them closer and they will support each other in the days and years ahead.

    I also sincerely hope they find and take advantage of a therapist as soon as possible and continue to seek help. Their anger will be intense, even for the youngest, and it will be a poison in them affecting their happiness and success in life. It may not manifest itself right away, but it will come, and ruin relationships and many other aspects of their lives in general if not dealt with. I know this all too well.

    May they please use my experiences to live the best lives they can. Much love to them!

    • I was four. It’s been 34 years and I still haven’t found that peace. Congratulations on that, I know all too well how hard it is to set aside that anger and pain and forgive. My heart breaks for these kids and their mom, because I don’t believe my mom ever found peace either. I pray for them all to find a way to grow in a healthy way and learn to live happy lives. I hope they know that they are not alone and it isn’t their fault. All my love and healing energy goes out to them!

      • Left Behind by Suicide

        I am so sorry for your loss. I know that even 34 years later, the intensity of the pain and anger can be just as overwhelming as the day of your loss. It was for me after almost 4 decades. And I feel much compassion for you as you continue to struggle with it all. I have been in Cognitive Behavioral therapy many times over the decades but the breakthrough for me happened when I tried two new things: hypnotherapy and EMDR for the PTSD related issues. If you live in the Arcata/Eureka area there are two wonderful ladies that can help you with those therapies. I wish you the best of luck as well as peace and happiness in your future.

  • I lost a good friend last year, named Kassi Bernshoof age 28. I was out town when it happened. I just wish I had talked with her more. I did learn a valuable lesson from it all. Never let time get time get between you and the people you care about. Your not that busy, take time to ask someone how they are doing and if you can help with anything. Being older and wiser I have also learned that ” as long as you continue to talk about the person that has passed, they will always be here. So when you talk about them, talk in only truths, not gossip or lies”. I wish this family the very best. They will get through it, but it’s just a rough road to take, to get to happiness.

  • I lost a loved one 2 years ago this week to suicide. It is a tough thing to deal with, for sure. So sad for this family.

  • Lake County Not So Bad

    I feel so sad for those kids and their Mamma. I hope there are many friends, family and neighbors who can all help to bring some relief. When there are many that can give at least a little, great good can be done.

  • In all of our lives we should strive to develop effective methods for managing our stress. This is also something you should cultivate and encourage in those around you such as friends, children, siblings, co-workers, etc. If people know how to recognize stress and address it they will be far better equipped to sail through life’s choppy seas. Probably the worst thing I see in our society is a tendency to force people to “accept who they are” and a romanticizing of that. People can and must change – if you are in a bad place the solution is not to try and rationalize your way into pretending it’s not a bad place, the solution is to try and change the place you are in by changing your actions and thoughts. These things are possible – they are possible for ALL PEOPLE. Very, very few people are in such miserable conditions with no hope that an early exit is a rational route. People check out of here because they simply don’t know what else to do. Please don’t let people get caught in the trap of celebrating their flaws and failures – people can take a little “negativity” and “criticism” if it’s delivered lovingly and if you back it up with a sincere willingness to help them learn a new way of seeing the world, thinking about the world, and living in the world. If what you’re doing is not working – change it.

  • My heart & thoughts to his family my younger brother just supposedly committed suicide he hung himself but lot of us have our doubt’s he did it to himself

  • Firefighters wife

    Bipolar disorder and the depression that goes with it is a horrible thing. If you have someone you love or even just know that is bipolar, PLEASE, study, read,find it on the web, or whatever you can do to help yourself understand this disease better. This is not just a mental disorder but it’s an illness that kills a lot of people. Patience and love goes a long way but medication and a good Dr. that really understands this illness is a must.
    So sorry for this family’s loss. Hug your kiddos and keep them close.

  • Who wants to help me? to
    get real mental health services

  • Luke was my neighbor…I am stunned. The last time I spoke to him we were driving on opposite sides of our rural road- I stopped – he stopped…and I said to him: “You know…I just love your kids. They are so cute and so polite.” Luke’s face lit up as he beamed a HUGE smile and he replied: “I know – they are amazing kids.” I distinctly recall how he literally glowed at the mention of his children. I am just heart sick about the loss of this Father. I pray his children will always know HE LOVED THEM DEARLY. Absolutely tragic.

    • Thank you for sharing this. The loss of a parent under any circumstances is confusing for a child. My son lost his father when he was 6, and I believe the most important thing I have done is kept his memory alive, and make sure my son knows regardless of his father’s struggles, his father’s love for him was deeper then anything I had ever seen. I hope these children and wife continue to know and feel their father’s love as time passes.

  • There by the grace of God go i

    Remembering Gabe Cyrek…

    Suicide I once believed was uncreative and selfish. I have learned more in my struggle to accept the suicides of those I knew closely.

    Suicide always involves 4 givens:

    1. Pain, either physical or emotional .
    2. The victim is convinced that pain will never end.
    3. They believe that everyone will be “better off” without them.
    4. A moment of a lapse in judgement – of which we are all capable.

    Hugs to the family and hope for healing and wholeness for you all. So sad.

  • Maybe prescription drugs…can cause hallucinations and /or suicidal thoughts. I know because I too almost lost my life 7 years ago and at the time didn’t understand why I tried to take my life. Just because it was prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean there are no side effects. Would like to donate my time and spend time investing in the young boy’s lives. Hope they have great family men who will step up and show what the great outdoors has to offer.

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