Landon Gibson Born November 7, 2007, died May 21, 2023

I didn’t personally know Landon, but he went to school with our daughter Izze. It would seem that he chose to take his own life by stepping off the roof of the Baker Center on the Ohio University campus. I chose not to use the word ‘suicide’ because that word doesn’t show me a face. To take your own life is much more personal. What would make any person, much less a kid whose life is just beginning remove the possibility of a future. This is tragic on so many levels.

There was a memorial today at the Athens Memory Garden today and Vanessa and I went to pay our respects. It looked as if every school in the Athens school district showed up… it was more than moving.

Bulldog colors on a casket lid signed by friends

Upside down photo by Jorma Kaukonen

Words are so inadequate. As an old man who has survived a fair amount of life trauma I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the dance for anything. I am so sorry that this young man will have missed so much…

So sorry…

Your friends and family will never stop missing you little brother…

Fly free…

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen


  1. Comment made on August 30, 2023 by Anonymous

    I don’t think it was suicide. If you knew him, you wouldn’t think it either. A young man that was careless and took idiotic risks like most teen boys that ended with a tragedy.

  2. Comment made on May 30, 2023 by Phil G

    Jorma, your ability for compassion is only watched by your abillity to light up a room with your guitar. You are a mensch among mensches

  3. Comment made on May 28, 2023 by Art

    We have lost too many good people this way.

    If you or someone you know are at risk of suicide, help is available.

  4. Comment made on May 28, 2023 by John R.

    Gosh, it is excruciating to read such stories. But thank you for posting this, Jorma.

  5. Comment made on May 27, 2023 by john o

    I’m sure Langdon is up in Heaven right now
    Many blessings

  6. Comment made on May 27, 2023 by mikie

    Our village is certainly poorer due to this loss. God bless those who need to heal. m

  7. Comment made on May 27, 2023 by BrendanC

    My understanding is that if you were to read the case file on one suicide (clinical term), then you’ve read the case file on one suicide. There is no classic suicide case. Our capacity to understand poor Landon’s state before exiting is limited, as Jorma may have been alluding to. I sense it says a lot about the extended community to which the Kaukonens belong that most show sympathy and pay respect.

  8. Comment made on May 27, 2023 by Rob

    This is a very difficult world. It’s difficult on its own and people make it a lot more difficult than it has to be. We react in different ways to the difficulties that bombard us. Some choose to fight, some choose to cooperate, some choose to withdraw, and some choose to die. It’s tragic for loved ones left behind wondering whether they could have done something to prevent such a tragedy. I think we all need to try our best each day to make this world better for ourselves and others. If we all did that, it might not be as difficult.

  9. Comment made on May 26, 2023 by Joey Hudoklin

    Very tragic indeed Jorma.
    As a young boy, I too had thoughts of making the ultimate sacrifice. Thoughts of not being good enough, fear of people and economic insecurity plagued me. It’s wonderful so many came out to support. Peace & ❤️‍🩹

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