GREENFIELD – Sammy Teusch’s mom has spent Mother’s Day weekend the way no mom ever should — mourning the death of her youngest child.

The pile of tributes around the little tree in Sammy’s front yard is steadily growing, with more supporters stopping by the boy’s Greenfield home to pay their respects for a life gone too soon.

Sammy’s parents say their son took his own life on May 5 as the result of ongoing bullying at school.

There’s been a steady flow of tears in their home ever since, as well as a number of people stopping by to show their support.

“The past two or three days we’ve probably had 1,000 people here and I probably knew 20 of them,” said Sammy’s father, Sam Teusch. “There was a giant man that barely fit through that door who came in here and just had tears flowing down his face, and he gave me the biggest hug.”

Around lunchtime Friday, a Greenfield grandmother stopped and knocked on the door of the family’s home. When Sam opened the door, she handed him a sympathy card and offered her condolences after leaving a tiny tree and conductor’s hat by their tree.

“God bless you,” she said to the grieving father.

“God bless you too,” he said as the woman headed back to her car.

“I wanted the family to know that they sure are thought about … It just breaks my heart,” she said.

Sammy Teusch

Inside the house, Sam and his wife Nichole continue to grieve for their youngest child, who was a fourth grader at Greenfield Intermediate School.

He had just turned 10 in February.

As the debate over school bullying continues (school officials deny that any formal reports of bullying were ever made), Sammy’s parents are preparing to lay their son to rest Wednesday at Park Cemetery in Greenfield.

With an overwhelming amount of support from the community, a family friend made arrangements for the boy’s funeral and visitation to be held at Brandywine Community Church in Greenfield.

While the family doesn’t attend the church, Teusch expressed gratitude for officials offering up the space to accommodate the crowd that is expected to attend his son’s funeral.

“The community has been excellent. I thank God for the community,” he said Friday morning as he and his wife sat at the kitchen table, a box of tissues between them.

In December 2022, the couple relocated the family to Greenfield from Florida when Teusch took a new job as Corporate Director of Engineering for MHG Hotels in Indianapolis.

They quickly began exploring the area, visiting both local and state parks and popular spots like Brown County.

“The six of us were always together,” said Nichole, her eyes puffy, having wiped away a steady stream of tears all week.

At 10 years old, Sammy was the baby in the family.

His older brothers, Oliver and Xander, are 13 while his sister, Scarlett, is 11.

The kids are the youngest in the Teusch’s blended family, which includes five children they had separately before getting married 12 years ago.

Nichole tearfully summoned the words she said best describe Sammy.

“He was really funny,” she said. “He brought a lot of light into this house, and he was really smart and caring. He never wanted us to be sad.”

He also loved being outdoors, climbing on rocks, hiking through the woods and occasionally splashing in the pond behind their home.

“He would wake up and the first thing he wanted to do was ‘Can we go fishing? Can we go fishing?’ All that kid wanted to do was to just be outside doing something,” his mom said.

One of his favorite things to do was to catch the tiny bluegill that inhabit the pond behind his house.

“He’d just sit out there and have a blast,” recalled his dad, who said one of Sammy’s favorite things was taking their dog, Daisy, a white Great Pyrenees, for a run around the pond.

Since Sammy’s passing, Daisy hasn’t been the same — sticking close to the family members’ sides, craving constant contact.

“She knows,” said Sam.

Sammy’s parents say one of the hardest things is that their son’s suicide seemed to come out of the blue.

“That’s what was so confusing about this is that it’s so not Sammy. The last thing I’d ever think is that he would be at this point because we were always right there,” said Sam, who said he had several talks with his son and his school regarding bullying since moving to Greenfield.

The day before Sammy passed away, the family had spent a fun day watching the older boys play soccer at Brandywine Park in Greenfield, where Sammy also played on a team.

Later that day, the whole crew enjoyed a night out playing games at Bottleworks in Indianapolis.

Things seemed very ordinary the next morning, the parents say, as Sam headed to a local store to buy more pancake mix for breakfast.

Sammy had spent part of the morning laying in bed with his mom, as he would often do, asking for a back scratch.

It wasn’t long after Sam returned from the store that Sammy was found unresponsive in his room.

A firefighter who lives down the street responded to the 911 call first, rushing upstairs to render aid before more help arrived.

“I could see on these guys’ faces that they were doing everything they could,” said Sam, his voice cracking.

“More than anything, that’s what I want to do is thank all those people who helped. I want to thank the first responders and the emergency room team. I can still see their faces. They were devastated,” he said, wiping away tears.

Now the family struggles to cope with laying their youngest child to rest while looking toward a new normal.

“I told (Nichole) we can’t stop living life, we have to keep going for the other three kids,” said Sam.

“What service would it be to them if we just gave up and not tried to bring something positive out of it? Because there has to be something positive comes out of it,” he said.

But the tears won’t stop.

For now, the family continues to spend time together as they process how to lay their youngest member to rest next week.

Sam has been told to expect a big crowd, including a couple hundred bikers from the Freedom Riders and Christian Motorcycle Club.

Sam said he doesn’t mind people joining in his family’s grief.

“It’s the same feeling we would have if this was another family’s child,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that nobody expects, and then when it happens, it shows you there’s still love in the world.”

The family has taken comfort in seeing just how many friends Sammy had.

“He had friends I had never even seen that have been here bawling. I worry for the little ones that loved him and don’t understand anymore than I do,” said his dad.

“I told them right now I’m 10 years old too because I can’t put thoughts together, I can’t process,” he said.

Sam said he and his family have also had visits from complete strangers, like the grandmother who felt compelled to leave a tiny train by the tree in their front yard.

“We’ve had just complete strangers coming in here and then little kids (and parents) that are coming in here and telling me their stories about what’s going on with them,” he said, referring to getting bullied online or at school.

While police continue to investigate what could have prompted Sammy’s death, and the allegations of bullying online, by phone and at school, his parents want the community to know what a sweet kid their son was.

They’re also giving their other children the freedom to grieve.

One of the twins told Sam that his friends wanted to come over, but he thought it was too soon.

“Bubby, don’t do that,” Sam responded. “You need your buddies. You need your friends. Get them over her so you can hug and cry and laugh and cry some more.”