Tonight’s post is hard.
Today I found out that one of my students committed suicide over the weekend. Being a contracted teacher, I don’t know many of the details, nor am I sure I want to. The school is so small and everyone knew him that it has shaken the entire community. Grief counseling has been made available to the students. I am sure it has been available to the staff as well but, like I stated before, the entire school is in shock.
I only found out today, because I am an outside contractor and I don’t technically start until October but the Head of School was nice enough to inform me as he was one of the many students I got to know last year.
To me, he was your average kid. He had been sick for an extended period of time around flu season, but everyone seemed to think it was a physical illness. Looking back on it now, I wonder if this was the start of something much deeper. When he returned, I had already cast the show his class was participating in and had left him off the list, mainly because he was not present at the time of “auditions”. When he returned he was anxious to be a part of the play so I quickly found a part for him with a few lines and a super silly joke. He never knew that he had been over looked and was excited to participate.
To me, he was your average boy, rowdy at times but always good natured. He participated in every activity we did and never made a fuss. He was never the last to be chosen and always had something to contribute.
So what did I miss? How could I have not seen the hurt in this boy? I would call him a young man but I can’t. He had just turned 12 years old. All the selfish questions continue to run through my head. What could I have done? How could I have reached out to him? If I had started my program earlier, would he have had the outlet necessary to save him from the thoughts that made him do what he did? Could I have saved him some how?
Then I start wondering what happened. What happened in this boys life that made him think that this world is better off with out him.?
Because it’s not.
This is where I have to confess. There have been times where I have thought the world might be better without me. That I am not capable of handling the world I live in and I want to give up. I have never wanted to be dead but that is largely because I know how much it would hurt those who do love me. But there are times I feel like no one really loves me, that no one really cares. I say this because I am lucky that I have the ability to know there is nothing in this world worth taking your own life.
PLEASE, if you ever have thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They are even available for online chat. I have called them before when I have had those feelings, even with the knowledge that I was not going to kill myself. They are nice wonderful people who will help you in anyway they can. Do not feel like you have to wait until the blade is in your hand. Call when you think about it. Call when you can’t face whats in front of you. They are there to help.
I wish they could have helped my student. All I can do is share his story. I can let the world see how one young life effected so many people. I can continue the battle cry:
“Depression lies and suicide is never the answer.”