Sunday, March 30, 2008

Too Soon Extinguished

Sweet, humorous, kind-hearted, respectful. Those are words one would use to describe him. Now there is another to add to the list: gone.

This morning, my son John called me from the road as he was returning from his spring break trip to Florida. The last few days, I must admit, were a bit nerve-wracking for me since I’d not heard from him except for a late-night missed call Thursday night with no message left.


This morning, my son John called to let me know that his classmate, Donnie, from Newport had taken his own life. Sweet, humorous, kind-hearted, respectful Donnie. Now gone.

To describe the shock is not possible. To fathom his family’s grief is not possible. To pray that it will never be my child and no other family will have to go through such grief IS possible and I’ve prayed that all day long.

It also brought to mind the blog of a young 15 year old friend of mine. She wrote it recently and in it she wrote she felt she no longer wanted to live. I spoke to her of my concern for her which had been growing over the last three months. She acknowledged she has such feelings and is depressed. Fortunately, she also made them known to her parents who had noticed a change in her as well and are going to get her some help. I wanted to let her know I am here for her.


Reach out to the young people around you. Get to know them. Sometimes they need someone in addition to their parents to be there for them.

I’ve no details about what happened this morning and I may never have any. Too many times in such situations, no one ever discovers the why, as if there is ever any good "why" as to such sadness.

But I do know this: today a young man’s life was extinguished all too early and we are left heartbroken. We need to love on the young people around us, they may need it. And you, nor they, may even know it.

Be there.