On Jan. 6, Sarah Bloom Raskin was home in Takoma Park watching the assault against the U.S. Capitol on television. Just the day before, she and her husband, Rep. Jamie Raskin, had buried their 25-year-old son, Tommy. Now, Jamie, the couple’s daughter Tabitha, and their daughter Hannah’s husband, Hank Kronick, were all at the Capitol, threatened by a menacing mob.
“We were petrified,” Sarah says. “I was thinking, has my life taken this dramatic turn where I’m going to be losing my entire family?”
Jamie, Tabitha and Hank had gone to the Capitol to witness the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College ballots making Joe Biden president. Jamie says the confluence of the two events—the suicide of their son and the storming of the Capitol—has left an indelible mark: “We experienced the violent attack on Congress and the insurrection against the government, which was a public trauma to accompany our family trauma. In that period of about a week, a lot of basic pillars of my existence were demolished. We lost one of the three people most precious to us, and we discovered the precariousness of democracy itself.”