Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ripple Effects

This young man's suicide ripples out to touch everyone. How bleak the day seems. At my daughter's school, teachers wept openly, a boy broke down in Physics class, a girl recalled her friend's last phone call and wondered if maybe he was really saying goodbye. 

I want so much to know what was in his heart and mind that night, what drove him off that ledge into the darkness, but I don't actually know this child, so perhaps I will never understand. Those who did know him, clearly loved him. They say he was funny, kind, helpful, a brother to the end, but what kind of sorrow must have seeped into him? Was his final act just a rash impulse that he couldn't call back, or had he planned to do this? My son tells me gently: "Mom, get used to it. You won't ever know." And maybe he's right. So all I can do is beam prayers for healing to his parents, his brothers, his friends. Especially to his parents. Their pain is unimaginable.

I find myself hugging my children a lot. My daughter and her friend from middle school are in the kitchen baking cupcakes from scratch. Their friendship is so familiar and uncomplicated. Their chatter soothes me. My son has midterm exams this week, biochemistry and Spanish tomorrow. As usual in the evenings, he is stretched out on the living room couch dozing in front of the TV. I rub his head as I pass by, and I don't even tell him to go study.

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