Friday, September 28, 2012

I am a writer

And I really do like to write.  About the things I am passionate about.  My Savior, my family, my friends, babies...  But this week has been especially hard.  And I am at a loss for words to put all my thoughts in one place, coherently and concisely.  But, some time has passed, and I think I am ready.  So, here's what I have...

Our town suffered a great tragedy on Wednesday morning when a young 8th grade boy took his own life by shooting himself in the busy hall ways of our Junior High School just before classes began.  The same Junior High I attended so many years ago.  So much changed in that one instant.  A mother and father lost a son.  Friends lost a loved one.  An entire school lost a feeling of safety - even if for only a short while.  A community of young people lost their innocence.  Our entire town lost the sense of the protective bubble we have always had here in Stillwater.  But one thing we did not lose, and must cling to with all our hearts, is our Faith in God and the goodness of people.  We absorbed the intense shock together, wept together, we will heal -- together.

One of the assistant principals posted this message last night on Facebook, after the kids had been back in school yesterday and had more time to process the horrific events of the last 48 hours:

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, my family, our school and our community. We truly appreciate it. I have been lifted up by the messages, texts, phone calls, prayers and support. Stillwater is an incredible place. If you are from here, or have made this your home, you should be very proud. I won't lie to you, this has been the worst week of my professional career, and undoubtedly for everyone else too. I hate seeing pain in the eyes of the kids, parents and the people I work with. We know what's on their minds because it's on our minds too. We are moving forward day by day. We are doing okay, we want you to know that. I have been quiet because we have been asked not to post about anything that might interfere with the investigation, no details... I just want you all to know that the people who are taking care of your children are incredible. The kids are awesome, you should be so proud of them. I am so proud of them, I am so dang proud of them. They will persevere...
I am proud, too.  Proud to call Stillwater my home and to raise my family here.  Proud of how everyone has come together to support this family and the school.  Proud of the way my children have handled it and the opportunities for conversation that have come out of it.  But alongside the pride, comes so much hurt, anger and sadness.  If you are my facebook friend, you may have seen some of the conversation that took place after I used the word "selfish" to describe this act.  I just want it to be clear that I was describing the ACT, not the person.  There is a HUGE difference.

In about 6th or 7th grade, I was told 2 things about suicide form the Youth Intern at my church that have stuck with me the last 25 (Yikes!  I'm old) years.  The first thing she said was that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary question.  That really rang true with me.  Even in our darkest moments, we have to believe there are brighter days to come.  The other was that suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do.  This may sound harsh (as was the argument on my wall), but here was the explanation I was given for that description.  The victim's pain ends.  His or her life on this earth is over.  Whatever you believe about what happens to you when you die, the fact is Earthy pain, for that person, is over.  But for the parents, siblings, friends, community and BEYOND, the pain, confusion, hurt, frustration, dark moments, hard conversation, and emotional turmoil have just begun.  I have thought about that fact many times over the course of my life, and am thankful that someone said that to me all those years ago.

I have a dear sweet mentor, friend, and sister who is also a writer.  She has been in my life for over a decade, and I don't think she can fully understand the impact she has had on me and my family.  Her daughter was a friend of the young man who took his own life.  This is her post from that night.  Read it to help your own healing begin.

Cade, you are missed.  We pray for your parents, your siblings, and your friends.  Rest in Peace.

1 comment:

  1. I love you! I am so very, very thankful that God has woven our lives together, because you have made just as much of an impact on my family. Thank you for being you and being my friend!