When a friend committed suicide

This past spring, the day after his sixteenth birthday, one of my close friends committed suicide. When I found out, I was so in shock that I was quiet for a while, and then the tears came, and they followed me basically everywhere I went. My mind couldn’t focus on anything but him. 

The first day back at school after everyone had heard the news, my first class was health, and the unit we were studying that week was “suicide.” Everyone was quiet until the teacher spoke. We knew what she would say. Then, suddenly, the tears came again, and this time I wasn’t the only one crying. Tears led to hugs and “I love you’s” among classmates, and we all realized we weren’t alone and we never had been.

For many months, I tried to understand why my friend had done it, and I kept replaying the time I had seen him last, like a video clip stuck on repeat. I couldn’t stop wondering if I should have said or done something different, and wishing I had. I kept asking myself, “What if I had sat and talked with him a little longer? What if I had offered to walk home with him? What if I had laughed more when he told that joke or hugged him a little tighter when he said hello?” It took the longest time for me to finally accept that I couldn’t change what had happened. The hurt inside me wanted so badly to fix the pain that his absence had caused in so many lives. I felt a strong urge to pray about him and the effect his loss had had on the surrounding community, so I did. 

The Touch of Class
Nothing in the way
October 8, 2012

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