Over the past month I have been, as is evidenced by my blog posts here, working on my NaNoWriMo novel for 2014. In the midst of this most hectic of months, an unexpected source of tragedy has reared its unloved and difficult to get along with head. No, I am not referring to Ferguson, MO, or Cleveland, OH, or Iraq, or any of the other hotbeds of violence that can be found in the world.
Two weeks ago, a bright, young 18 year old man, recently graduated from High School – loved by his mother, his friends, his classmates, and people who barely even knew him, in a rash decision decided to end his own life. There were no warning signs that anyone can come up with, he was cheerful, he had made plans for the following week, he was just about to start a new job, and the world was his oyster (so to speak.)
Two days ago, another young man from this same small Colorado high school took his life.
Yesterday a third boy from the same community took the same route.
None of them showed any of the classic signs – depression, giving away favored items, saying goodbye to people, acting out.
My co-worker, the mother of the first boy, is the reason I know about these instances at all. She said when she was talking to the police about her son; they mentioned that a few years ago there was a string of twenty suicides within a short timeframe all within the same school district.
I really have no words to express how disturbed and how disturbing this is to me. I jokingly, flippantly said that they should check the water and see what’s in the water in this small town. It was a flippant comment, and I acknowledged it as such at the time, but I do wonder – are we as a society doing something – poisoning the well- figuratively speaking, that is encouraging this type of sad ending? Or is it just that the media (social and otherwise) is so pervasive that we hear about it almost instantly? Or is there in fact, nothing we could have done for any of them because their time had simply come?
I have not reached any conclusions – nor am I likely to. For me, death has always been a part of life, and grief is for the living. But my heart goes out to the parents, the siblings, the friends and the family of these boys, particularly as Thanksgiving and other holidays approach.
Hug a loved one, hug a friend, or hug a stranger (after asking politely!) Show people you care about them.