On Saturday I got to watch as my girls prepared for their school’s Prom. It was an exciting day. They helped each other with their hair and makeup, talked with their friends about how much fun they were going to have that evening, and finally, the main event: they put their gorgeous gowns on. Wow, did they look good. When their dates showed up there was a lot of whooping and hollering and more excitement coupled with lots of pictures. Off to the Prom they went for another rite of passage that gets them farther from the days of elementary school and closer to making the transition into the adult world.
Sunday morning we were all still talking about Prom. My husband and I were asking for the particulars: what they did, who all was there. Was everyone having a nice time, etc., etc. And then we received an email that evening from our girls’ high school principal. A young man from my girls’ school had taken his life that morning. Suicides always fill me with an overwhelming sadness. I feel bad for the child that did that. They had no idea what they were doing. I feel sorry for the parents. Sorry for the siblings. Sorry for the family and friends who loved that child and will never understand, but will always be haunted by that horrible act, that terrible day.
My daughter had been over at her Prom date’s home for a couple of hours Sunday evening, and when she got home, I showed her the email from her principal. If you have never heard your child cry tears of sorrow that come from the deepest regions of their heart, I will tell you that it is a gut-wrenching experience. My daughter had been friends with this young man. She had even seen his prom pictures from the evening before on facebook.
It is now Monday morning. Those people we call our children are now on their way to school. It will be a somber, quiet day. School counselors are already preparing for grieving students and parents to come to them for grief counseling. It even snowed last night, which makes the day seem somehow sadder than it already was.
Memories of one of my own dear friends who took her live five years ago have found a fresh vent through my tears today. Life will never be the same. All I know is that life is a precious gift. When someone dies, especially that dreadful and final way, I think what could we have done to change that? Were there any signs that would have let us know we could have helped? I pray for those who have lost, for those whose happiness will never be complete, for those whose grief will never be truly gone.
For coping with the suicide of a friend or loved one see:
For suicide prevention see: