It has come to our attention that the poor young man who took his life yesterday was being bullied and also had broken up with his girlfriend of at least a year (that's a long time at that age, for sure). Both cases are symptoms of a possible suicidal way of thinking. A friend of my daughter's was talking to Kyle at 7:15 pm on his last night of life--he was found dead at about 9:30.
The community has rallied and much praying and grieving is occurring right now. A sixteen year old young woman who is fairly close to our family posted angrily on Facebook:
I lost a lot of respect for people who took advantage of yesterday to
just mess around and for all of the people who did nothing but talk
I didn't even know him but I feel empty and sad, not careless
and "too good" to feel hurt. RESPECT, people, please? We need more
compashion [sic] and respect and LOVE.
Kyle, I may never have gotten to know you, but I miss you and I love you and you will always be remembered.
I love all of you. ♥
This was referring to the actions of some of the young people in the high school where Kyle attended. My daughter, Brianna, shared with us the tears and talks that occurred during the day--with tears not limited to girls but the jocks and teachers as well. But others took this day of grief and despair and ran with it as a time for playing and laughter.
For many of these young people, this was their first real brush with the finality of death in their "community". I know it is for Bri. Lots of kids and adults, too, are hurting. There is guilt aplenty, I'm sure--at least the feelings of guilt, I know I've been feeling some. The school did have counselors there for the kids. There was a "school response team" made up of lay and professionals from the community. Much was packed into yesterday to honor the memory of this young man who was well-liked, a bubbly jokester who was there for his friends and acquaintances.
The same sixteen year old I mentioned above also posted something last night on facebook that was perceptive, poignant, and profound: "I don't want to be missed, I want to be remembered."
I don't know the source of that statement but the fact she picked up on it and agreed with it shows significant maturity. I mentioned yesterday that every young person has something to give to the world whether they have discovered what it is yet or not. All of us want to be significant and young people are no different.
Most of the young people I'm involved with are caught up in many different extra-curricular activities (and most have to do with livestock). I've known for years that the more involved a young person is, the more dedicated they are to an activity or five, the more satisfaction and energy they put into living. I remember teaching in eastern Oregon and producing a play. A lot of the actors and actresses came to rehearsals after practicing for a sports activity and then went home later to do their chores and THEN their homework. Kids want to be busy, they need to be busy. It's through this "busyness" that they become significant. They don't have to be "A" students...they just have to be involved. And the more absorbed they in an activity, the less the opportunity to be bored and nurture a feeling of worthlessness.
No kid deserves to die, obviously. They crave attention. They need encouragement. They look for direction. WE adults need to provide this...to our children and to those others we are involved with. It's up to us, as well as them. Let's help each of the young people in our circle of life be one who is remembered.