Celebrating and Honoring Teo Surasky

As we all experience the shock and heartbreak of losing our beloved Teo, several things have become clear over the last few days. One, is that he was profoundly loved and held by his friends, as well as by the vast network of aunties and uncles and cousins who helped raise him. From the moment he was born, Teo knew how much he was loved. And from that same moment on, he generated immense love and laughter for too many of us to count.

In the midst of unspeakable loss, it has been healing to hear his friends share with us what he meant to you, and the ways he changed your lives. Our hearts break for you as much as they break for us.  

Teo once offered a prayer at Shabbat at our home. “I’m grateful for my friends,” he said. “They make life worth living.”

We feel nothing but immense gratitude to each of you who loved him. He had an extraordinary childhood, and you all made it so.
The second big thing is that, while we will not know for some time, if ever, exactly what happened, we are confident that this was a terrible and tragic accident… likely a combination of factors that might have been survivable for someone else, but which proved fatal for him. 

Teo was happy and upbeat the night before it happened, and he was in the middle of a number projects. But for those of you who know him, you know that the happy jokester kid we knew and loved, sometime during his senior year, started to struggle with anxiety. 

He sought help and was receiving professional care and medication. For a while he shut down Instagram. He also had an incredible group of friends who loved and cared for him deeply and were looking out for him.  We were all on his team.  

It is likely that prescription and nonprescription drug interactions, and possibly a pre-existing health condition, all combined to produce this unthinkable outcome. We do know that he died peacefully and quietly, at home, in the room he loved where he would play PS4 and hang out with so many of you.

We know that all that matters right now is love–receiving the love you are sending our way and appreciating the love generated in the world. Please be healthy and happy and care for each other and find the fun and laughter in your lives, in any ways you can, in honor of Teo. If you are struggling, and so many of us are during this time, don’t hesitate to ask for help.  

We are truly all in this together.

—Teo’s parents, Cecilie and Carolyn