January 4th, 2019 was the most horrifying, unexpected day of our lives. Our son, Michael (Mikey) Kullman, died by suicide. Michael was our 3rd of 5 sons and was born on September 28th, 1998. He was 20 years old, attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying Industrial Technology and Packaging. Our family has always been loving and tight-knit. We just had a delightful holiday season, Christmas always being the highlight for our family. We had an amazing Disneyland trip right before Christmas, and there was nothing at all that would have ever made us think that Mikey was contemplating suicide. Mikey was one of the most outgoing, cheerful, talented, family-oriented people you could ever meet. He had more friends than one could imagine. He expressed his feelings and used his God-given talents through his love of music, his artwork (both visual and sculptural), his faith, and his dedication to his fellow students working in the Industrial Technology Lab and Pottery Studio at Cal Poly. In the summer of 2018, he interned with a medical device company in the Bay area, found a church he loved, and even got baptized. He called his family regularly to tell us how much he loved what he was doing. Mikey was well on his way to great success.
Michael never had an enemy. He always encouraged others. He reached out daily to people, especially those in need. Mikey was a joy to his parents, 4 brothers, his large extended family, and friends. He loved God with all of his heart. He was a true example of what it means to love God and love others. Our hearts are truly broken by this unexpected loss.
Through Mikey’s death, our mission has become clear. By telling our story, we will raise Suicide Awareness while promoting Emotional Health and Wellness to our community and beyond.
We thought long and hard about what we would call our organization, and out of “Who Mikey was and What he stood for”, we launched “Knowing You Matter” at the beginning of 2020. Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we want to carry out Mikey’s legacy of love and show people that they matter… that each person is created in the image of God, and God wants each person to know that they truly matter. These are things Mikey stood for, and this is what we stand for. His legacy of love will live on…