I debated with myself about whether I should write this post or not. It’s a subject most people don’t like to talk about, but it shouldn’t be ignored. At the same time, it’s not my story to tell and I don’t want to be disrespectful to the family of the young man I’m writing about so there won’t be any details that might identify them.
A year ago this month my daughter’s friend committed suicide. They had only known one another for several months and this young man spent a lot of time in my home. He was a great kid. His parents were some of the nicest people I’d ever met. He was shy and quiet, but as time passed he wasn’t as reserved when he was around me. I had no idea that he would even consider taking his own life and I’ll always wonder if I missed something and could have made a difference.
He stopped coming over and began hanging out with people who weren’t a good influence. I’m not saying it’s their fault, but I think that it made the things he was dealing with worse.
I won’t go into details about his suicide other than to say I can’t cross railroad tracks without thinking about him. I know my daughter feels the same way because I can “feel it” in her demeanor anytime we are near a railroad crossing.
She had a hard time dealing with his death and I had to take her to counseling and meetings with our pastor for awhile. She’s doing well now, but I’ll never forget the screams and cries the night she found out about his death.
I hope by writing this that if someone reading is contemplating suicide that they think twice.
I took my daughter to meet some friends at the movies not long ago and we passed the cemetary where he’s buried. I couldn’t help but think…life goes on and he’s laying in the ground. He should be going to the movies, the mall, football games…all the things teenagers do and he’s not. If he’d only realized he might have felt differently years or months down the road he’d still be here. But for whatever reason he was hurting and felt hopeless and taking his life was the only way he thought he could end his pain. It just makes me so sad. People who die by suicide don’t want to end their life…they want to end their pain.
I can’t even put into words all the things I want to say. We miss him and think of him often. Silly, scary movies, chocolate chip cookies, and burnt grilled cheese sandwiches…some of my favorites memories.
To anyone who has had suicidal thoughts…I’m glad you are still here. Keep holding on.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: