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.