Family, friends honor Cherry Creek student who took his life, start conversation about mental health

Jack Padilla remembered as a compassionate friend

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — Suicide is a painful topic that is affecting a growing number of families. Last February, Cherry Creek High School freshman Jack Padilla took his own life after he was bullied.

Family and friends gathered Sunday at Village Greens Park to honor the 15-year-old and raise awareness about mental health and suicide.

“This is a club none of us wanted to join,” said Jack’s father, Rick. “It’s a wound that will never close. Every day, I tell my other son and my wife, we get one centimeter closer to acceptance. And that is very healing for us.”

Padilla said Jack was a good, compassionate and loving child.

“We wanted to gather with his friends to celebrate his life and to play some songs that he liked,” he said.

Participants walked around the park, many of them with their dogs, just like Jack did at one time.

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By: Lance Hernandez