CHARLOTTE — Frankie and Frazier Luvu were 10 years apart and, yet somehow, the two brothers could not have been closer.
“I felt like that was my twin,” Frankie Luvu said. “Everything he did, I wanted to be like him.”
Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu said his brother was one of his first coaches -- initially on the soccer field where Frazier Luvu shined as an athlete.
The brothers would eventually share a dream of playing professional football.
“It was always me and him,” Frankie Luvu said. “He was just so proud.”
This past spring, Frazier Luvu flew from his home in Alaska to spend time with his brother who was training in Arizona.
It would later become their last time spent together.
“I got to chop it up with him because that was his first time leaving Alaska and coming out and really having a good time. I knew he was going through some things, but he was the kind of person who kept everything to himself.”
Within days of the visit, Frazier Luvu died by suicide.
“I’m still trying to find answers as far as what happened,” Frankie Luvu said. “I may not ever find it but one thing I know, he was going through some things.”
Ironically, Frazier Luvu’s death coincided with a fresh start for Frankie Luvu, and what he says, were a series of signs.
“Everything at the funeral was white and blue. That stuck out to me,” Frankie Luvu said.
The Luvu family laid Frazier Luvu to rest that Friday. The same week, the Panthers called.
“I just felt like this is my calling,” Frankie Luvu said.
“I know times were down then, but I was filled with joy to do what I love to do and if anything, do it for him,” he said.
The Panthers linebacker said it was important for others who hear his family’s story and to also know that there’s help.
“Knowing that there was help out there, and you’re not alone,” he said. “I feel like for me, I did that. I called him. But to me I felt like I would have done more.”
The following link will direct you to an important resource for suicide prevention and awareness.
There’s a free virtual suicide prevention training offered through Mental Health America of Central Carolinas called QPR, which stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.
Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
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