Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My daughter came home tonight grieving and bewildered at the news that an acquaintance of hers, a friend of her girlfriend's, had committed suicide.  The boy was 15 years old.  I had no words of comfort for my girl, who had no frame of reference with which she could make sense of this.  She didn't know the boy well, but that didn't seem to matter -- the obvious tragedy of it, coupled with the almost unbearable "wrongness" of it, depressed her and made her feel limp and tired.  Tucking her into bed, I felt unprepared, and had no words except those of Jesus, that those who mourn will be comforted.

What is it, in a child of 15, that makes him lose hope to the point of choosing violence to himself?  Was he one of those unfortunate children who are medicated for depression or ADHD with drugs that are known to increase suicidal thoughts in teens?  Was he abused?  What can make a child feel that hopeless?  The only thing we heard about the circumstances of his death were that he killed himself and the family had no idea why.

Our hearts are breaking for the family of the boy.  We don't know them.  We can only imagine, and come up emotionally empty, because it is unimaginable.

It is a frightening fact in this country that suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens.  Young people are our treasure and our future -- when they lose hope in themselves, our future looks bleak indeed. 

1 comment:

  1. "Angie" wrote:
    You have done what you can. There are no words of comfort in situations like these except to point her to the author and finisher of our lives, Jesus.
    Let her know you are there for her and allow her to express what she feels. Guide her through it, it's a process, don't try to shield her from it. Arm her with tools to strengthen her.

    Suicide is about control. When one feels that they have no control over what is happening in their life, the one thing they can control is whether they choose to live with it or die. For teenagers this sense of hopelessness is even more acute.

    In raising our children, we try to shield them from problems when in fact we need to be teaching them how to work through problems. We are no longer in the garden of Eden. War is not something we wish to engage in at any time, but we must battle daily and teach our children with God's words how to fight each and every day. We must fight depression, loneliness, hopelessness. We must also fight for what we believe in, God, our families, our church, our country etc.

    I have no idea what was going on with this young boy, but my prayers go out to him, his family and all those who have and will be affected by his death. May God give us grace to live each day.