We want it to look like roses and rainbows, but for me, at least, that would not be the truth. We ALL want to tell our best truths and leave blank spaces where the hurt lies. But, that wouldn’t be the whole story.
Who writes the whole story? I don’t know. I probably won’t tell all. I am still too scared. But, I just cannot tell you a half-truth. Because I know so many half-truths have left many feeling less than, and worse than, and not worth as much as. So, here’s today’s truth.
I didn’t even tell my daughter in college what happened tonight because I was scared it would bring her back. Again. Because she KNOWS this fear and pain. I didn’t hesitate to make another mom’s world uncomfortable because her son was in danger. And I KNEW that our daughter would feel scared and insecure about our response. I also knew that this IS the truth of today, no matter how hard.
You see, we have had two kids, at our kid’s school, in the last 4 days, take their life by suicide. And. We also know, from our experience (sadly) that teen suicides often come in clusters.
A child told our daughter tonight that he planned to kill himself. He said “goodbye” and “this is the end for me, I am sorry” and “I will miss you.” Oh my. The worst.
Have I mentioned I LOVE music? I do. Lyrics shake me, to my soul. Tonight as I sit here trying to make sense of this week and this night, this lyric showed up. “It is better to feel pain than nothing at all. The opposite of love is indifference.” This!
If someone says they are going to kill themselves, and we do nothing but listen, we haven’t done our job. Do not be indifferent! If he wasn’t going to kill himself and I called the police, maybe it was all-for-not, and maybe “they” are mad at me. Which way should we error? For our kids, they have to choose. This IS their truth.
They have watched their peers die. This week. Kids will never again come home. The friends that didn’t respond to their cries live with the guilt. For forever. Even if they tried to help for so long. This pain cannot be undone.
So, one child cries out. And we respond. We pound on doors. We spend all of our night trying to get to him (or her) before The Worst Day happens. Again. We called the mom. She says “I talked to him, he is okay.” We know she doesn’t understand. The kid who cries out, and cries out again, and again, is on his way to The Worst Day. We know. We unfortunately know. And if he is telling the truth, and if our children do nothing, what does that mean for our child? What will they live with if they don’t call for help?
How is this the struggle of our children? How is THIS real? This is their reality.
So, tonight. Again. We sit in the reality of another teenager. We have heard this before, on The Worst Day in the past. Our new reality is that we respond and spend an entire night, or day, or month, getting to him, pounding on doors, finding out where he is. Telling him he is loved. The police at our home, again, sending them to where he is, to just hopefully save one precious child. To ignore this is to be indifferent. We cannot be indifferent to his cries.
The reality? We are left here with our own kids that are not okay. Again. They are scared and now considering their own pain. This. Is. The. Truth. We are here processing all of this loss and pain, worry and frustration, trying to make sense where there is none.
This is us. This is real for us today. Maybe the tomorrows will be better. I hope. How can we help? I wish I knew.