Rest in Peace

My heart is aching. On Monday, one of my son’s classmates killed himself. Over the weekend, another, former classmate–he had transferred to another local high school–died in his sleep, possibly from alcohol poisoning. Last Wednesday, an alumnus (someone my other son knew), reportedly despondent over grades, killed himself. In the space of five days, our community has lost three young men. The hows of these deaths don’t matter.

I grieve for these young men, two of whom were in so much pain they could not see past the darkness to brighter days and more joyous possibilities. I grieve for their friends, who are bewildered by these losses. And I grieve for their parents, siblings, and relatives, who are left with a gaping hole that will never be filled.

I did not know any of these young men, nor do I know their parents. I can only imagine the anguish they must be feeling. I’m not sure there is anything that I, a total stranger, can say that will ease their sorrow. But I can do this: I can say, if you are reading this and you are thinking of killing yourself, don’t. There is hope. You may not be able to see it, or feel it, or grasp at it. If that is the way you feel, if you are in such despair–or are feeling such anger that you want to kill yourself to punish those who will be left behind–then pick up the phone and call the National Suicide Hotlines at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Visit the website at http://www.suicidehotlines.com. Let someone hold that hope for you until you can claim it for yourself.

Live in peace.

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