NORTHBROOK, Ill.—Dylan Buckner’s bedroom looks like a typical teenager’s room, filled with sports trophies and plastered with posters of football stars.
Chris Buckner, Dylan’s father, points to photos and toys of cheetahs, saying Dylan liked the animals because of their speed. He gestures to a large model of a fish, a life-sized replica of the first one he caught with Dylan.
Almost everything in the room has been left untouched since Dylan’s death three months ago—an attempt by his parents to preserve his memory.
On Jan. 7, the 18-year-old took his own life due to depression exacerbated by the state’s pandemic lockdown measures. Dylan entered a hotel not far from his home and jumped to his death.
His dad told The Epoch Times there is “no doubt in his mind” that the school closures and the state’s extended stay-at-home order aggravated and worsened Dylan’s mental health to the point of no return.
Chris said his wife, Karen, now sometimes sleeps on Dylan’s bed, likely a way to cope with the grief of losing their son. He says he’s telling his son’s story in the hope that it will save a future life and to alert parents to their children’s mental health.