Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

HE had taken HIS own life ~ Rae

on June 12, 2013

Depression_by_jxdxIn my 17-years in education I have never had to deal with a suicide. I have lost students in accidents, gang violence, from illness, and other tragedies, but never suicide.

Until now.

And now I deal with it not as an educator but as a parent.

Last Thursday night I heard my 14 year old daughter breathe differently from down the hall. That’s how I knew something was wrong. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I jumped up and shouted, “What’s wrong?”  She stumbled into the room and sobbed, “HE is dead! HE died tonight!!!”

HE is a classmate of my daughter’s from grades K-6. My daughter went to a small private elementary with only about 60 students per grade level. So they all know each other well and keep in contact. With today’s technology everyone is able to stay in touch and is aware of what is going on in each other’s lives.

My first reaction was: NO WAY. Not this kid. Not this family!!! Haven’t they been through enough? It just didn’t seem possible. My daughter and I cried together as we wondered what in the world could have possibly happened to HIM. The next day we found out the painful truth. HE had taken HIS own life.

A sad fact is no one is asking why. We all know why. This kid has been through some STUFF. I could tell you about HIS stuff and it would break your heart, but that is HIS family’s story to tell, not mine. One can look at pictures from before the STUFF and after the STUFF and see the difference clearly in HIS eyes and HIS smile. HE has definitely suffered and struggled. Yet knowing “why” sure doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

I have this sweet memory of HIM from kindergarten. On the day of the annual school Golf and Walk Picnic my daughter and I sat on the same blanket with HIM and HIS father while eating lunch. I can clearly remember looking at HIM and my daughter and rejoicing in the beauty of children. HIS father so clearly loved him as he helped HIM with HIS Capri Sun.

That of course was long before the STUFF happened.

There is no way I can comprehend the pain and torment HIS family must currently be going through. I am barely a peripheral member of this event and am struggling to keep it all together. I am trying as a parent to give my daughter the support she needs, as she tries to make sense and deal with this life altering and perception changing event in her life. From now on there will always be this memory of the lost friend and the worry that maybe she or someone could have done something to prevent it.

My duaghter actually saw HIM the day before HE died at the local Rite Aid eating ice cream with HIS sister and friend. She was in a car and driving by, so she didn’t get a chance to say hi.  I told her to hold onto that image of HIM laughing and surrounded by people who love HIM. That’s how she should always remember HIM.

One of the students at my daughter’s school made the obscene comment that HE is now in Hell because HE committed suicide. I know there might be some who according to their religion might believe this, but I do not. The God I have faith in is loving, all knowing and all powerful. God discerns the heart of every single being on this planet and there is no way He would allow that suffering child to be put away from Him for eternity.  I told my daughter that people are human and finite so we only understand things in black and white. God is supernatural, infinite, and can see everything. He alone can judge and He loves HIM. I believe God took HIM immediately into his arms and wiped away all the tears. The STUFF is now over for HIM.  Of course God does not want us all to give up when pain comes our way, but God also know us to the very number of hair on our heads and understands what we have been through.  God KNOWS.

I however do not know. As I struggle to look for meaning or purpose in this tragedy, I have had some gracefull input from people in my life:

  • A good friend from work sent me a link to the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. My daughters and I listened to it, wept together and had a conversation about life, love, God, and heartbreak.  We have prayed together a lot this past week.
  • My 9 year old daughter took the quote HE had as the tag line on HIS Instagram account and wrote it on her bathroom mirror, “You never know what you have until it’s gone… figure it out what you have and be grateful” Pretty deep for my 9 year old.
  • My 14 year old daughter texted me a verse that spoke to her with this analysis, “God has a reason for letting things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will.
    • Psalms 37:5 “Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.”
  • At church this past Sunday there was a preview of an upcoming movie the church made,  Hope for Hurting Hearts. This is a film adaptation of a book Pastor Greg Laurie wrote after his son died. In the movie there is also the powerful testimony of Jeremy Camp who has no arms and no legs.  The full movie will premiere June 30 and I know my family will watch it.

As always, I am amazed how God seems to give me exactly what I need right when I need it most.  Nevertheless, I am still looking for meaning in this tragedy; still looking for the words to tell my daughters about how important it is to ask for help when they are hurting.  I am still looking for understanding of why STUFF happens. I am still human after all.

Lord, I pray for HIS family; give them strength and peace. I pray for HIS friends and classmates; give them compassion and comfort. I pray for my daughters; let them learn and become wise Christian women.  I pray for myself; give me the courage to fulfill your purpose for my life.

Lord, I pray for HIM and us all.

3 responses to “HE had taken HIS own life ~ Rae

  1. My heart goes out to you – one of my daughters friends committed suicide about three years. It such a hard thing to comes to terms with when they are so young and full of life’s promise. I hope that time blunts the pain and the HE is always in your hearts.


  2. I would like to share with you a short story I wrote in response to a dear friend’s suicide. I had the same “No.” reaction.



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