Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin and his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, released a loving tribute to their son, who died last week.
Raskin announced on New Year’s Eve that his son Thomas Bloom Raskin, 25, had died.
“On the last hellish brutal day of that godawful miserable year of 2020, when hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions of people all over the world died alone in bed in the darkness from an invisible killer disease ravaging their bodies and minds, we also lost our dear, dear, beloved son, Hannah and Tabitha’s beloved irreplaceable brother, a radiant light in this broken world,” Raskin said in a statement published on Medium.
Tommy, as he was known to his family, was “raised on a fine Montgomery County Education,” Raskin said — from Takoma Park and Pine Crest elementary schools, Eastern Middle School and Montgomery Blair High School. He also studied in Paris during a family sabbatical year.
In high school, Tommy Raskin’s “adult persona began to take shape.”
He co-founded Bliss, a life-changing peer-to-peer tutoring program, where he spent hours tutoring fellow students in math and English. He was active in speech and debate and the Young Dems, where he got in involved in President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection effort.
Raskin said his son hated cliques and social snobbery, never had a negative word for anyone — except for tyrants and despots — and opposed malicious gossip, often stopping gossipers by saying, “Forgive me, but it’s hard to be a human.”
He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he majored in history and wrote his senior thesis on the intellectual history of the animal rights movement.
“Tommy became an anti-war activist, a badass autodidact moral philosopher and progressive humanist libertarian, and a passionate vegan who composed imperishable, knock-your-socks-off poetry linking systematic animal cruelty and exploitation to militarism and war culture.”
In 2019, Tommy Raskin went to Harvard Law School, living in the home of his father’s law school roommates.
Last summer, he was a summer associate at Mercy for Animals and found “a knack for actual lawyering.”
Raskin said his son had a “perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind.”
But Tommy Raskin also battled depression.
“Despite very fine doctors and a loving family and friendship network of hundreds who adored him beyond words and whom he adored too, the pain became overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable at last for our dear boy, this young man of surpassing promise to our broken world.”
In his farewell to his family, Tommy Raskin wrote, “Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me. All my love, Tommy.”
The family plans to hold a private funeral service Tuesday morning and will schedule virtual public memorial services later this month.