Editor’s note: This post deals with themes of suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
Glenn Scarpelli and his wife Patricia Colant had two children, a chiropractic business and a life centred around food and family in New York.
He, a chiropractor, and she, a receptionist, were the “gentle, kind and grounded” types; ones who volunteered at Ground Zero in the wake of 9/11 and ones who were gave much of their time and energy into the goings-on of their children’s school.
But behind a facade of love and light was a financial burden that grew in stress as it did by dollar.
The endless bills were too much, the burden overwhelming and their future dogged by a distinct inability to pay it back. And so, last Friday, 53-year-old Glenn and 50-year-old Patricia jumped from the ninth-floor of a 17-story office building on Madison Avenue in Murray Hill, New York.
In their pockets were a couple of notes kept safe by tiny plastic bags.
In Scarpelli’s pocket was a letter titled, “We had a wonderful life”. He explained, however, that he and his wife had found themselves in a “financial spiral”, with medical issues and a lack of funds to pay for the health care they both needed.
Public records show that Mr Scarpelli owed nearly $270,000 to to the federal government and $53,000 in unpaid taxes.
Their children, 20-year-old Isabella and 19-year-old Joseph, had no sense of what was to come.
Last year, when addressing his school, the couple's now 19-year-old son Joseph gave insight into the kinds of advice his parents gave him on the fly, hindsight haunting in its relevance.