Ryan Follese Shares Poignant Moment With Man Whose Son Committed Suicide
Ryan Follese wasn't expecting to have a poignant conversation with a grieving father when he arrived at the airport, but on a recent trip, he was approached by a man he didn’t know, which at first seemed odd.
“I was carrying golf clubs and a guitar, and he said, ‘Can I help you with your bags?’ and he didn’t work at the airport,” Follese recalls. He politely declined the help, but the man asked to speak with him after he was done getting his stuff.
“He didn’t actually seem that weird to me, so I was like, ‘that’s fine,'" he explains. "The second I went over to him, he burst into tears."
The man told Follese his son had committed suicide just days before, and he’d played golf and guitar and looked a lot like Follese.
“He goes, if if you’re ever feeling that way, please just call your parents and tell them.’”
Follese hugged the man and remembers him hugging tightly back, which the artist feels was significant. “I felt like what he was doing was feeling like he was hugging his son for the last time,” he says. "I felt that he wanted me to tell people about it."
Follese took the man's message to Twitter and shared the suicide prevention hotline number in the hopes of encouraging others who might find themselves in a similarly dark place. Perhaps many people would have brushed off the stranger in the airport, but Follese says he feels like his career and his life thus far had prepared him for it.
“Being in this business, I meet so many amazing fans so I’ve had very normal interactions and very weird interactions with strangers all the time," he shares. "So when he came up to me, I kind of felt like that was also God’s way — I was prepared for the moment, better so than probably a lot of people would be.”
Follese says he will be wrapping up his tour with LoCash soon and heading home to finish up his record before heading back out with Sam Hunt for the summer. He released a new single titled “Put a Label on It” in November.
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