Junior Seau texted his children “I love you” before his suicide


One of Junior Seau’s last acts before shooting himself in the chest on Wednesday was to tell his children that he loved them.

His ex-wife, Gina Seau, told U-T San Diego that on Tuesday he texted her and each of their three children separate messages: “I love you.”

“We’re all in shock,” she said. “We’re beyond sad and beyond shocked. The kids and I are just huddled together at home. There is no way to make sense of this. I hope and pray everyone remembers what a wonderful man he was.”

It may be impossible for Seau’s daughter Sydney and sons Jake and Hunter to ever understand why their dad took his life. But in his last moments, they were the people Junior Seau was thinking of.

104 responses to “Junior Seau texted his children “I love you” before his suicide

  1. He couldn’t call his kids at the very least?

    What he did to them and his mother is a damn shame.

  2. That is one of the saddest headlines I’ve ever seen on PFT.

    This whole scenario is such a head scratcher.

  3. I think in his last moments they were the last thing he was thinking of. How could you put your children through that kind of pain?

  4. Great Player, but what a coward to do this to his three children. Whitney Houston 2.0, self- inflicted tragedy should not end in a tribute to the person.

  5. Hey: he had some sort of brain damage caused by steroids and/or football and he obviously was not thinking clearly. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t/wouldn’t get any help. One hell of a player.

  6. He sure didn’t act like it. What he did might have been one of the selfish things you can ever do.

    His kids will never be the same.

  7. joetoronto says:
    May 3, 2012 7:05 AM
    He couldn’t call his kids at the very least?

    What he did to them and his mother is a damn shame.


    Certainly one of, if not the dumbest and most insensitive comment I’ve seen regarding Junior Seau’s passing. Call his kids and say what? Junior Seau was an All-Pro on and off the field. Hearing how he was remembered by teammates and friends gives true testament to what a great human being he truly was. Yes, I feel awful for his family, but your first reaction shouldn’t be chastise him for causing them grief. Especially after seeing how much love and support people have shown Junior since his passing, I just can’t imagine how much physical and emotion pain this man was living with for him to want to take his own life. RIP #55. True Hall of Famer in football and in life.

  8. He may have been courageous on the field but you’re a coward when you commit suicide, especially if you have kids.

  9. Though I am sad that he did this, I am also angry.
    They say suicide is the ultimate selfish act.
    Here’s proof.

  10. As with any suicide, Junior’s troubles are behind him today, but the troubles for those he left behind are just beginning, and will last for the rest of their lives.

  11. A text? Kidding me? First the cowards way out, and then not even a voicemail?

    Forgive me. It’s very tragic. He was a terrific player, but suicide is selfish. And a text goodbye is disrespectful. That’s all I’ll say on this.

  12. joetoronto says:
    May 3, 2012 7:05 AM
    He couldn’t call his kids at the very least?

    What he did to them and his mother is a damn shame.


    Joe, until you’re in his shoes, you’re not in the position to make that type of judgment. For all you know, he could have had a chemical inbalance in his brain that he couldn’t control. Someone who, for all intents and purposes probably had brain damage, can’t make clear decisions like, “Maybe, I should call my kids before I kill myself.”

  13. joetoronto, when people are depressed they do not think things through logically and with emotional clarity.

    The last thing in the world Junior Seau would want to do is hurt his kids and yet that’s exactly what he did and in a life changing way for them when he killed himself.

  14. Few things are as sad as a person being in such a dark place that they take their own life.

    Thoughts and Prayers to Junior’s children and family.

    RIP #55

  15. So, they were on your mind enough to think about them before you killed yourself, but not enough to think about the pain you now caused them, you’re weak, I’m sorry, but I feel for the family

  16. I realize he may have been sick, but if he loved his kids…..really loved them, why would he put them through this. That has to be just horrible to go through.

  17. Very sad for him, even more tragic for the kids he left behind. No one knows what troubled him to the point of killing himself. Too bad he didn’t hang in there for the sake of the kids.

  18. joe – please don’t judge him as you – and most of us – have no idea of what was going through his mind at the moment. Still schocked about the news. RIP Junior.

  19. MDS –

    I can assure you of two things.

    1. As a father of two, the last thing that would show love for my children would be killing myself.

    2. The last thing Seau was thinking of was himself, not his children.

  20. @joetoronto

    What’s a damn shame is that you are found on this site. Regardless of the story you are always the first to post and more often than not, it’s a snooty “better than thou” comment. Get a life dude

  21. Suicide is ultimately a very selfish act. That being said I understand the places a man who is feeling without purpose can go. If you or anybody you know is in a similar situation, please encourage them to get help.

  22. joetoronto says:
    May 3, 2012 7:05 AM
    He couldn’t call his kids at the very least?

    What he did to them and his mother is a damn shame.


    joetoronto, seriously? This is what you have to say?
    Pretty obvious that he was not in the right frame of mind to do such a thing TO HIMSELF.
    The resulting damage to his kids is a no doubt a shame but my guess would be he meant no harm to them, once again he couldn’t have been in the right frame of mind and wasn’t thinking of the collateral damage of his actions.

  23. The darkness and despair he must have been in is beyond comprehension. Anyone who has never known that kind of darkness should say a prayer of thanks for the blessing of a happy life. We are all so very selfish to always want more, when we already have enough.

    Junior Seau had more than most of us can ever dream, and could still not find happiness.

    I hope he has found the peace that eluded him.

  24. This is a very sad and unfortunate situation for a man who was admired by teammates, opponents, and fans of all teams. No one will ever know what it was that ultimately put Mr Seau over the edge. I’ve noticed a lot of people on this website as well as other’s who are judging this man for what he has done. I think what people fail to realize is when someone commits suicide they are not mentally stable and haven’t been for a while. In Mr Seau’s case he always had football to hide or keep those demons at bey. Now with the excitement of the NFL draft and the opening of OTA’s the realization that his career was over and he would never put those pads on again got to be too much for him.

    Sure it was selfish for him to take his own life but he saw no other way to get through his mental problems and when you are a guy at his level of fame I’m sure it is difficult to ask for help. All we as fans and admirers of Mr Seau can do is pray for his family and just remember the good times, it’s truly not our place to judge.

  25. Currently in our culture, talking about depression is viewed as a weakness among men especially.

    Seau is responsible for his actions, but the NFL needs to play a role in helping change the culture so that NOT talking about depression is viewed as a weakness.

  26. It’s really not fair to judge someone who was probably suffering from severe depression – caused by who knows what?

    Was it due to the many concussions he surely suffered playing 20 years of NFL football, painkilling and/or maybe other drugs, business problems? – who knows for sure?

    But something was truly amiss in this normally – incredibly radiant guy – who was always there for others, including tirelessly working for various charities, including his own foundation.

  27. I have no idea the torment that Seau was experiencing. However, his mental torment is over and his children’s mental torment has increased 1,000 fold. It’s sad that his love for them wasn’t enough to make him think that and go get some help. Suicide is not the answer…ever.

  28. If it were me, I’d take that last “I love you” as a slap in the face…IF you truly love someone, WHY in God’s name would you put the people you claim to love so much through more pain than you were in. Sure, you could say that no one knew how much pain he was in, but…once your dead, your dead..no coming back..and now those kids & his Mom have to live their lives wondering why he did this…Just sad all around. Praying for his Mom & kids to get through this, and that he finally found some peace.

  29. What was Seau’s definition of love?

    This final act on Seau’s part will very likely ruin a few of the lives he claimed to have love.
    A selfish man ended his selfish life once he no longer was living the dream.

    Hope his family can show the toughness Seau showed in the good times.
    Rise above on the strength your mother gives.

  30. I’m sure that Junior was suffering, but to pass that pain on to your loved ones is horrible.
    RIP Junior.
    Hopefully your death will bring to light what other players current or former are going through.

  31. There is pain and sorrow in this world; to deny that is to live an inauthentic life. But there is also so much beauty and love. Suicide is the ultimate turning of your back on that beauty and giving in to the sorrow. Horrible decision.

  32. joetoronto, my god man, what is wrong with you. Ho obviously had his mind made up and did not want anyone to have an idea of what he was going to do. YOU have no idea what he was thinking at the time. Neither do I. By no means do I think he should have done something like that but some people get fed up and have had enough. We take these athletes as superstars with no alot of scratch and no drama. EVERYONE has drama in their lives and it seems junior was done dealing with it. Let the man rest in peace.

  33. Too bad that love didn’t prevent him from taking his own life. I’m sure his children are devastated.

  34. Great football player to say the least. But to do what he did and leave his children fatherless is a selfish act. They will be scared for life never knowing “WHY”

  35. If he was thinking of them he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger. What an awful story all around. Poor man.

  36. joetoronto says:
    May 3, 2012 7:05 AM
    He couldn’t call his kids at the very least?

    What he did to them and his mother is a damn shame.

    I agree it is a very selfish act but when you are severly depressed you don’t think about all of the pain you are causing everybody else. All you think about is how hopless, sad, and horrible you feel every day of your life. You lose rational thought and do not see light at the end of the tunnel. Most people reach out and get help but he refused to show weakness. The only thing I am curious about is if his family reached out to him and tried to get him help. I would like to think that if my brother drove his car straight off of a cliff I would drive him straight to a mental health professional. At the end of the day if somebody does not want help there is nothing you can do but keep trying.

  37. I’m not going to pretend to know what a person who did what Junior did is thinking or feeling. But when I look at my children, I know I would endure any Hell life is handing me and couldn’t do that to them,,,but like I said, his mind may been infected with that which I couldn’t understand.

  38. Great football player! Sure Hall of Famer…..coward of a man for taking his life and leaving the hurt with his family to bear now, only GOD should decide when you should go. This didn’t solve anything only made it harder for all the people that loved him, the very people he should have leaned on or support if he needed. No matter how bad it may seem life can always change…..death is permanent and leaves a wake of pain in it’s path!

  39. Call me cold-hearted but what he did is indefensible and absolutely selfish. The only sympathy I have is for his children and loved ones. People who commit suicide are either too afraid to accept help or too weak to do the work required to get better. Cowardly move

  40. In a case like this, where you don’t know for sure that it was suicide or murder made to look like suicide, how do you know it was him that sent the text?

  41. Unless he had some kind of mental disability or severe depression Seau took the cowards way out. Taking your life and causing so much pain to your mother, siblings and especially your kids is the ultimate act of selfishness. I respect what he did on the field and more so what he did off of it. But i cannot respect what he did yesterday. Sorry thats just how i feel about it.

  42. edgarprado says:
    May 3, 2012 8:33 AM
    what is wrong with you, joetoronto? He wasn’t going on a fishing trip.
    You’ll understand one day, I know you will.

  43. Wow, I can’t believe how many of you think you know everything. It is your thinking that way that makes you understand nothing.

  44. I will say if you haven’t experienced Anxiety or true depression you 100 % do not understand it…..but my thoughts are expressed post # 2.

  45. I think its funny when people act like saying he is a coward and selfish is some kind of bold and edgy statement. Just shut up

  46. Is nobody seriously considering that after 20 seasons in the NFL, plus college, plus high school, etc., Seau may have very well suffered brain damage which led to his suicide?

    Until we get the news about there being some other reason (massive debt, whatever), I have to make the presumption that his presumed depressed was due to the trauma of smashing his head against others for over 20 years.

  47. I may seem cold here, but this is the single most selfish thing a person can do outside of cold-blooded murder. If he loved them he should have sought help. When you have a kid or kids it isn’t about you. As much as you are hurting, suffering, your single purpose is their lives, not your own.

    I am suffering from depression myself, and my friend Randal knowing this told me on numerous occasions, “You better not take the coward’s way out.” I know problems seem endless, but it will get better. Even if it gets worse, your responsibility is to the kids. Outside of this, his mother is terribly hurt. His family, his friends. All of those people are suffering because he took the coward’s way out being selfish.

    My wife has told me on countless occasions that I am selfish, but I could not be that selfish. I’ve thought about it because sometimes life hurts so much that you want it to stop, but I could not be that selfish. May he rest in peacee, but he left a lot of hurt people in his wake. He left children without a father, parents without a son. That is not someone who loves someone else does.

  48. Lets not rush to conclusion regarding his reasons. 3 years ago he was still active. I doubt brain damage presented itself after 20 seasons, but not after lets say 15.

  49. “Unless he had severe depression then he’s a coward! ”

    What? Nope, he was happy as a clam but decided to shoot himself in the chest. Happens all the time. Coward!

  50. @ joetoronto

    After reading your comment on the Bengals and their fans regarding drafting Zeitler over DeCastro I pegged you as a low class Ahole and moved on. But now that I see your bombastic post about Junior Seau I realize I was wrong. You have NO class.

  51. @godofwine33,

    You make some good points. But I do wonder if Seau was unable (perhaps never learned how to ask for help may be a better way of putting it) to ask for help. The one thing I thought when I read the story is that I can’t imagine how depressed the man must have been to be able to text ILY to his children and still go through with the act. If anything when I went through difficult and depressing times (nothing to this level), just thinking about my children always lifted my spirits.

  52. “One of Junior Seau’s last acts before shooting himself in the chest on Wednesday was to tell his children that he loved them.”

    Did I miss the part where the police, investigators or ANYONE confirmed that Junior shot himself? I know I’ve read his death is being investigated as a suicide, I know it appears to be suicide, but…..I don’t know that for certain, and neither do you Michael. If ever the word allegedly belonged in a sentence, it’s in the one above.

    But why am I surprised? PFT consistently practices questionable journalistic integrity, sloppy reporting and dabbles in unsubstantiated reports.

  53. I think the thing most are missing is he was obviously messed up from the concussions he suffered whilst playing football. Sure most people with brain injuries don’t run off and kill themselves, but if you remember the WWE wrestler Chris Beniot, he took his whole family with him. When the did the exam on his brain, his frontal lobe was basically mush. That was a man that was insane at the time, perhapsb Seau was also.

  54. Never judge a mans actions until you have walked a mile in his shoes. No doubt he was struggling with a serious mental issue to take this route, but did any of you that have written how his text was cowardly ever consider he might have wanted them to have his written words to keep forever if they choose to be “I love you” ?

  55. dude didnt even call his kids or mom. a text mesasge? really? u text a neighbor or a distant relative. also, dude had the $$ to get HELP. And a otherwise probably perfect life. no financial worries EVER. and that is one of hte concerns of most of the normal peoples lives.

  56. I generally disagree with everything joetoronto posts. Not here. This was the act of a coward. Seau had more opportunities for treatment than most. Absolutely indefensible.

  57. Anyone considering suicide needs to watch that news conference with Junior’s Mother. That was heart wrenching and I don’t think anyone would want to put their loved-ones through that anguish.

  58. samoanjungle says:
    May 3, 2012 10:50 AM
    Anyone considering suicide needs to watch that news conference with Junior’s Mother. That was heart wrenching and I don’t think anyone would want to put their loved-ones through that anguish.
    Exactly, I watched it live and it really hit me hard.

    I know I bust balls of fans of certain teams here, to me that’s lighthearted stuff. Some people take it way too seriously, IMO.

    Something like this, however, is real life. I’m not “hating” on Seau, or Charger fans, I’m speaking as a father of 3 and someone that still has his mother around.

    Like I said yesterday, may God have mercy on his soul. My thought are with his kids and mother though.

  59. People, a family lost their son, brother, dad & a community their role model who did so much for so many. To assign blame and/or say he should’ve done things differently shows a total lack of compassion & understanding for the situation Junior was experiencing. I expect as much from the joetoronto for he knows nothing about class, but others should know better.

    Must be nice to be in a position to judge another man (then again, few believe joetoronto is a real man).

  60. Not to say Junior were on steroids but I do think to play at the highest level in the nfl there must be some help. Has there been any studies with long term steroid use and the effects of concussions.

  61. OK, I have experience in this, my sibling tried to commit suicide. I also have no bias towards him because I didn’t even know who he was till yesterday.
    I think everyone needs to back the F off him. YOU have no idea what pain he must have been in to do this. And THANK GOD you have never been that low, thank God you can’t comprehend how he did this, because that means you have never been that low.
    All you saying this somehow reflects how he felt about his kids… give me a break! His kids know how much he loved them and him doing this won’t change that. They will remember all the love they recieved prior to this and they will realize it had nothing to do with them and he had his own demons. And that text will be precious and they will not think he should have called or left a voicemail, they will appreciate it as is.
    All these judgmental attitudes are the exact reason he probably didn’t get help. And if he had you would be the ones judging him or calling him weak for it. So he couldn’t have won in your eyes anyway.
    I pray that none of you ever get as low as he did.

  62. sj39 says ;

    Wow, I can’t believe how many of you think you know everything. It is your thinking that way that makes you understand nothing.

    Perfect. From a hater no less.

  63. One would almost think from his initial comment joetoronto has personal experience with this subject and is still dealing with it…..

  64. Everybody posting on here are failing to realize that the most insensitive thing wrote is actually this article in and of itself! I understand as a journalist you want your work read but come on let the man rest in peace and his family grieve without posting what his last text were and to whom. I understand it was the ex-wife that came out and made it known but it was not her intent to have people slander him because of it(I don’t believe so anyhow). It is the media stirring up the pot with articles like this. My first thought when reading this was what exactly is the point of this article? Hopefully he can find forgiveness and rest in peace!

  65. yssupasigninnamnotyep says:
    May 3, 2012 11:25 AM
    Only one word is needed.



    Do us all a favor and go be a “coward” then. The only thing that matters is he is dead. Why don’t you go to his funeral and call him a coward, see what sort of reception you get there Mr. Armchair QB.

  66. Guys, what is with the poison comments!? You think he can read them? I can tell you what his family and friends can. How about you lay off what you may or may not think abou this decision to end his life and send a message like this:

    To his family, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I hope over time the good memories and love you shared will help sustain you through these hard times.

  67. How terribly sad. I can imagine the pain he was in.

    To the folks saying ‘he should have done this’ or whatever, until you’ve been in such a state, you don’t know, so don’t be so quick to judge. Try to imagine how much pain you’d have to be in to act that way, and then you’ll have more compassion for the pain he was in.

    I’ve been in that kind of pain, and you’re not yourself. You’re not thinking rationally — like, “I think I’ll call my kids! Yeah, that will be better! Texting is so impersonal at a time like this. ” You’re thinking that you love them so much, but you can’t bear it any longer, and you want them to know you love them in the least hurtful way possible, and you hope they’ll understand that you just couldn’t go on and forgive you.

    Sure, later when it’s better, you can’t understand how you could have ever thought those things, but at the time, that’s how it is. So don’t be too quick to apply your daylight judgement to someone who is consumed in what feels like never-ending darkness until you’ve really really been there.

    Junior was an awesome player and an awesome Trojan. He was an awesome guy on and off the field. I’ll always remember him fondly as one of my favorite players. I’m very sorry for our loss.

  68. Leaving 3 young children fatherless….absolute coward. Thumbs down if your a coward too.

  69. This whole thing sucks.

    While Jr was suffering, and clearly he was – his kids and mother will suffer more.

    That is the injustice here.

    They get NOTHING.
    No answers.
    No father/son.
    No goodbye.


  70. Leaving your children with unresolved pain, confusion and rage forever.

    I don’t care what your physical or emotional issues are, these are the actions of a bag of douche

  71. You people should be ashamed of yourselves!! He was anything but a coward. Unless any of you can say first hand that you personally are suffering with C.T.E. then your comments are meaningless. I worked with his sister and the family loved him so much and they are truly suffering right now. Your comments are not helping at all. The only thing that killed Junior was football and the concussions he received to entertain all of you. Until the NFL wakes up and admits their responsibilities to this he won’t be the last player to die. I am sure he thought that this was the only thing to relieve the pain he was feeling. He probably didn’t want to burden his family with his anger, depression and Dementia. Nobody knows what stage of the disease JR. was in but the thought of having a disease like Alzheimer’s at the age of 43 was probably not something he could bare. Think of his mother and family and please keep the rude distasteful comments to yourself. They are going through enough, not to have to read or hear about your comments.

  72. Death and loss are an integral part of life everywhere. We have to accept it and move on. Now going forward with respect to Junior Seau. He was a great citizen of the USA and intimately involved with his community and more importantly, his family. I am getting frustrated turning on the news and ESPN or NFL Network and the only thing blazing the airwaves are reflections of Seau’s “now tainted” legacy. Everyone has demons. He was 1 of 6 documented suicides to occur after a post NFL career. He lived a life billions of people on this planet could only dream about. People are calling it post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, saying he had trouble coping with life post NFL. Bottomline is he had the world out there and was fully capable of asking for help, but didn’t. Now I am going even further to say that there are thousands and thousands of military members trying to cope with PTSD begging for help, wanting to be heard and nothing happens. These members struggle with PTSD attempting to be reintroduced into society with blown off arms, legs, basically, you name it. As I stated before, Seau did a lot for the NFL and his community and was a successful businessman but because of that he is getting this much publicity. It is, in my opinion, very insensitive to people that are struggling behind the scenes coping with there issues trying to do good for the betterment of themselves and our nation and are getting turned away, in turn commiting murders and suicide to prove a point. These people wanting help and asking for help and not receiving it. Once again, my intent wasn’t to be insensitive toward Seau but to enlighten those reading this to a bigger issue affecting the less privileged people in our country

  73. What amazing man Junior Seau is. I gain even more respect for him knowing he left his children I love you text. SO many people leave this world world without a single goodbye. Junior been through so much and have so much love for his children to say I LOVE YOU God that must have been so hard. GOD BLESS JUNIOR SEAU may he suffer no more and Bless his children and know their father loves them and will watch over them from the heavens, Junior haves my RESPECT

  74. All this negativity about his last act before committing suicide are uncalled for. There are many things a person does out of desperation, and sometimes suicide is the answer for THEM at the time. They may realize that their family and friends will be hurt, but letting them know that they are loved and in saying this that they can hopefully realize it was what HE had to do, not them. People who commit suicide do so out of desperation and the feeling that there is no other way to end their pain. With his concussions this can make him do something he may not have otherwise done, but felt that it was the only way to end his suffering. It isn’t selfish, nor cowardly that they can’t go on, it is because they don’t know how to go on. Letting your family and friends know that you love them, you can at least have that to remember that you were the last people he thought of and that maybe they didn’t apologize but said what they had to say. Leave them alone. Had they known how low he was maybe they could have helped, but he and others like him, don’t see that light at the end of the tunnel, just the pain and wanting it to stop. Once the grief gets easier they realize that it wasn’t their fault anymore than the person who is gone, but desperation to end the pain and maybe even to stop the pain they may feel they are giving to their family and friends. Love them, love the memories they gave us and know that at least they are no longer in pain and hopefully resting in peace.

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