Sunday, March 9, 2008

Being a parent: the stuff no one can prepare you for

now, granted, our family has been through a wringer in the last 18 months, getting my older son back on track. But there are worse things and some of them came calling tonight.

My son came over for a few hours and was pretty subdued and quiet and after watching a movie with me for a while, he told me what was wrong.

One of his former classmates, a bright and beautiful young girl, killed herself last week. She would have been 19 next week. She was struggling in her first year at college and despondent over her failing grades although by all accounts, she let no one know. She hung herself.

There is nothing that can prepare you for your child asking why... WHY did this happen?

She could have had help if anyone had known... and if anyone could have convinced her that failing school is not failing LIFE.

There was a memorial service at the high school and my son had gone, although he was embarrassed he hadn't been dressed up. ''What you wore is not the important part,'' i told him. ''Only that you were there.''

We talked at length and it was hard on both of us. Some years ago, I lost a friend to suicide as well.

He'll never forget this. And the questions will always be there.

If you can, spare a prayer for Kristin and her family and her friends. For comfort, for peace, and for the strength to heal.

And maybe a small prayer for my son, who's learned some hard lessons in the last year, but perhaps learned the hardest one tonight...


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Sorry to hear about Kristin. It is so sad and its impact on those who knew her is also something that should not be underestimated. I pray that she is at peace.

my4kids said...

That is so hard. Explaining death to your child at any age but suicide? I just don't know how I'd do it.

emma said...

Condolences. I wish I had some wonderful words of insight for, there but for ther grace of stomach pumping machines go I.
Same deal, first year of college, almost 19. I don't know what to tell you except that one is kind of not in there right mind at the time, but in their only personal dungeon. No one can really get them out but themselves. And unfortunately, some people don't get out.
It's not something I talk about a lot.

Gerbil said...

emma: Agreed. Depression is not a rational disease. Various members of my family struggle with bipolar and depression... depression whispers things to you until you believe them and you can't feel or see anything but the pain, and you just want it to stop and you don't know how to make it stop.

Its rough.