I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to write today. Well, actually I warmed up the cold coffee I poured hours earlier, and finally got to steal a few minutes for myself. I prayed before I opened my notebook, just as always, that the words would come, important words or silly words, maybe even nonsense words or no words at all. Whatever they may be, may they just come. I set the timer for 10 minutes and put the pencil to the paper beginning with the day and place, as always.
It rolled right out “Lockdown Drills and Suicides.” Wow. Am I going there? Okay, don’t think just write. I haven’t written about this in a long time. There is so much to hold, and so much to say, but there just aren’t ever the right words. I don’t know how long it was before all the sirens. I was in the middle of a sentence about having once shown up to my daughter’s school during a lockdown drill, the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I heard the sirens and then saw the vehicles passing and my heart sank, or stopped? My heart did whatever it does every time there are too many sirens these days. The hearts of our neighbors and community know the sound of the worst days. It always starts with too many sirens. “Please, no.”
We do not know this precious girl that took her life today personally, but she lives about a block away, attends the same school as the girls, and will be the name that rolls off of our tongues and etches our hearts with today’s forever stamp…right next to all the others. We know how much her people are hurting. We know how much her teachers are dreading tomorrow. We know how close it will bring others to a dark place. We know what comes next. We have done this too many times. I don’t know how to put all the pieces together, there just are not words to make sense of this. Again. Still. Our community is both broken-hearted and also mightily aware of how strong we are…how strong we will be. Sending my truest love and prayers for peace to all, the kids and the educators, the neighbors and all the ones that can barely breathe. Again. You are so loved.
My words aren’t the important thing here. I am not sure what is? All I know is that my heart aligned with this subject today just as I asked God to show up and help my pencil produce the important words today. He gave me a subject and life gave me a story at the very same time. I’ll probably never share the words I wrote today, but I still felt prompted to share the story and the deep connection we all feel when another life is lost. Talk to your people. You FOR SURE know someone teetering in very dark places mentally. Ask them. Hold them. Sit with them. Do anything you can, just don’t ignore them.