I wrote this piece because I am moved and bewildered and saddened by the number of teen suicides that have occurred in our community recently. Why does this keep happening? Why must these bright lights be snuffed out when they are just beginning to shine? My heart aches for the families, the friends, and my mind can’t help but question the reasons.
In Whisper, my young adult trilogy, I suggest that dark forces are weaving into the minds of teens, suggesting destructive behaviors, trying to steal their joy, their very souls. Whisper is a work of fiction, but sometime I can’t help but wonder…
I pray for all of the families who have lost loved ones to suicide. And I pray that these terrible forces that are leading young people to take their lives may be extinguished by all that is right and good in our world and beyond.
A mother’s scream confirms the terrible truth of it as her greatest nightmare reaches out and slaps her in the face. No one hears her, but soon the world finds out. And soon, the men and women wearing the “I’m in charge” name tags compose and distribute an email to all families in the school district, explaining a horror that can never ever make sense.
And counseling is offered to all of the students. And lovely memorial services are planned and attended by many. And the girls and boys are sitting in their algebra and physics classes with big puffy eyes and runny noses, trying their best to focus on x plus y and gravity and motion, but how can they? The unthinkable has happened.
And, a minute later, everyone has texted and tweeted about the terror that has struck their little town – “did u hear what happened to so and so?” “did u hear what he or she did?” “it’s awful.” “I can’t believe it.”
Really? Because it’s certainly happened enough times to be more than believable. Three times in one school year seems quite a lot for a horror such as this… and yet.
It keeps happening.
And the mothers and fathers keep on screaming long after the buzz has left the screen.
And the rest of the world continues with x plus y and gravity and motion and texting and tweeting and emails and sleep. And they forget the punch to the gut they felt when the news broke. They forget how they couldn’t breathe for a second when they found out. They forget to remember how precious life is, even in the valley of teenage discontent.