In this case - as in many - there were absolutely no warning signs so the parents were in deep shock, massive disbelief and intense guilt. Speaking with Ajahn Brahm days later they expressed a concern over an issue which added greatly to their burden. "What happens to our son in the next life?" they asked reflecting their Buddhist belief in reincarnation. Behind the question was the fear they felt because they'd heard some Buddhists state that those who end their lives by suicide are reborn in the realm of a hell.
Ajahn Brahm responded with both wisdom and compassion. Knowing their son was about to take the required Australian University entrance exams, he asked the parents: "How many essay questions would he have to write as part of the entrance exams." The parents said he had to write out essay answers to 64 questions. "What would happen if a student answers 63 or those questions perfectly but makes a total mess of the very last questions? Would that student get accepted into university?" The parents smiled with relief understanding the metaphor and said "yes, of course he would be admitted for 63 right answers." Ajahn Brahm added this explanation:
"Your son does not get denied a happy rebirth solely because of his suicide, njo more than a student is denied a place at university solely because he gave a wrong answer to the last question on the exam. Your son was a very kind, good youth. He had given so many excellent answers to the tests of life that he well deserved a happy re-birth."