It was my second Mothers Day. After putting Joshua to bed, I checked my phone and saw a message that changed my life.
Have you heard about __________?
No, no I hadn’t heard the news. So I did what any teacher does.
I looked him up on Facebook.
The posts on his wall painted the picture of what had happened, but I urged myself to believe it wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true.
Surely, he hadn’t been successful. He was in the hospital somewhere and would be okay and his friends didn’t know, right?
Later, the same coworker called to tell me what I dreaded in my heart.
My student had taken his life that morning.
It was all so confusing.
He was so full of life and personality.
People loved him.
He seemed happy.
Having suffered from depression myself, how did I miss that he was hurting?
We laid him to rest in a ceremony that was beautiful and heartbreaking. We celebrated his life while mourning his death.
I despised the way his suicide was handled at our school. Instead of talking about it, some people went about their business as if he’d never been there at all. But not me. I vowed to be a voice.
There will always be a desk in my classroom for him.
There will always be a place in my heart for him.
May his memory be eternal.
Too many people each year are affected by suicide.
Too many people suffer and think that no one is listening.
Today is Suicide Prevention Day.
Help spread the word.
If you or someone you know is hurting, there is hope.
Because no one should have to go this fight alone.