The wife of the Sandy Hook Elementary School parent who committed suicide on Monday has spoken out on her husband's death in a note published to a GoFundMe campaign started in support of her family. Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman's daughter, Avielle, was one of the 20 students and six teachers killed in the 2012 mass shooting. The Hartford Courant reports they were both scientists and started the Avielle Foundation the following year to investigate links between brain health and violence. The foundation had an office at Newtown's Edmond Town Hall, where the 49-year-old was found dead. In a statement on its site, it expresses shock and writes that "Tragically, his death speaks to how insidious and formidable a challenge brain health can be."
Hensel's note reads in part: "Side by side since 1991, Jeremy and I walked a path of deep friendship, marriage, and parenthood." Avielle was their first-born, and the couple went on to have daughter Imogen, 4, and son Owen, 2. She continues, "My champion and the love of my life is the person who had every tool in the toolbox at his disposal. He succumbed to the grief that he could not escape. ... To parent our children without my champion shatters my heart and I will love my best friend forever." The campaign has raised $28,000 as of this writing; a campaign in support of the foundation has raised $150,000. Anyone with suicidal thoughts is urged to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. (Read more Sandy Hook Elementary School stories.)