We got the call Monday.
Nothing ever prepares you for any horrific news, but this was bad.
A member of our family had taken his own life.
His brother made the call, and we could hardly understand what he was saying through all the tears, sorrow, shock, and confusion that was rolling off of him and through the phone.
What had happened?
We weren’t exactly sure.
Why had it happened?
It didn’t matter WHY it had happened, it just happened, and nothing would ever be the same.
Were there signs that this was going to happen?
Looking back through the past year, I guess maybe there had been things, but nothing major.
He was 14 years old.
ALL 14 years olds are at that age where they pull away from parents, come off a little angsty, and seem to rely more on their friends for support and acceptance.
We just thought he was being a normal 14 year old.
He had a pretty solid family life, he had a good relationship with his siblings, and he seemed to be doing well in school.
So what the hell happened?
We don’t know, and we will probably never know what demons he was facing that were so unbearable that he had to escape his life to get rid of them.
When I picked my daughter up from school that day, I talked to her about what had happened.
She is only 13, so I wasn’t sure if she was old enough to grasp the weight of what had happened.
I didn’t know if it would be too much for her to take on.
BUT, I wanted to make sure that we had (another) discussion about how much she is loved, and how NOTHING is ever going to break that bond.
I wanted her to know that there is NOTHING we can’t handle as a family.
If she has a problem, if she is questioning, if she thinks we will be mad, she can ALWAYS come to us, and we will deal with whatever life throws our way.
She will never be in trouble if she comes to us out of truth and trust.
I don’t know what else to say or do. This is heavy. Our hearts are heavy.
BUT, I want YOU to know that there are places you can go, people you can call — you can even stay confidential — if you are in a place where you think this life is just too much.
There is nothing “wrong” with you. You aren’t “bothering” anyone.
PLEASE reach out — even if you can only grasp on with your fingertips — reach out to SOMEONE.
Here are some numbers for you to call if you need help:
National Suicide Hotline1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Spanish Suicide Hotline 1-888-628-9454
911 Emergency Services
AA Hotline 1-888-237-3235
National Substance Abuse & Mental Health Hotline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Addiction Hotline 1-800-662-4357
Crisis Text 741-741
S.A.F.E. Alternatives (support for self harm) 1-800-366-8288
Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Grief Hotline 1-800-395-5755