vendredi, mars 16, 2012

When a child dies

A day after a young man in our school district died (his family doesn't want to release details of his death), the tributes continue to show up on the Facebook page his friends set up in his honor.

Tony (not his real name) went to a small school, and his death echoed through the halls, with grief counselors waiting to talk to students.

The students who attended the high school where he was a freshman speak of his sense of humor, his gentleness, his many interests, and his generosity.

As the parent of a fourteen-year old, I am riven by the heartbroken voices of this teenagers on the journey to becoming young men and women -- struggling to understand something that no one should ever have to understand.

They don't know their own beauty yet -- they don't know the light they shine in dark places.

To this middle-aged mom, they are still so very young.

When a friend at the district told me about his death, my thoughts went to the counselors and teachers at the school -- who, inevitably, wiill be asking themselves what they missed, and if they could have done more.

I know those questions all too well -- only time will heal. The pain this young man was in must have been, as one of his friends put it, unbearable.

Why do some of our children have to deal with so much -- and others live in comfort and stability?

Why? Why? Why? I thought as I pruned the bushes in my backyard, outside the newly renovated house, my vision blurred by tears.

Rest in peace, dear child. You were one of us -- you were, and are loved by those who knew you, and who grieve for who you were, and might have become.

And we, who didn't know you, pray that when the next child in pain walks into our lives, we will be there at the right time.

In two weeks, Tony would have been fifteen years old.

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