3 hours ago
Monday, February 1, 2010
Our small community suffered a true tragedy the other day. A teen-aged neighbor came home and took his life.
By all accounts he was a well adjusted, studious, well-liked, high school football player. Had a wonderful, supportive family. Had lots of friends. Was happy and polite. He ended his brief life for reasons that he took with him when he left. Leaving us with questions and no answers. Leaving those who loved and cared about him with numbing sorrow.
What we do know is that it seems as though he may have had a fight with his girlfriend while at a basketball game; left abruptly; came straight home; and shot himself.
Gone. Just like that. And in the place he used to occupy is now a brother, a mother and a step-father, and family dogs beside themselves with grief and heartache. What was a home of new neighbors who we were just beginning to know, is now a place where we wish we could help but know there is little we can offer to ease the pain.
This young man smiled and waved when we walked by on our evening strolls. Or said hello when he was out walking his dogs. I would see him running laps in the neighborhood, keeping himself in shape for the football field. But, in a brief instant, when he thought his world was forever altered, he struggled and lost his will to live. And, I am struck with the notion that I will never get to know this young man any deeper than a wave, a smile, and a run.
With his leaving he takes his reasons for the why, and leaves a bitter void. He leaves a family who will never understand. I know that it is perfectly reasonable that we find our thoughts going to him and his family.
But, I also want to remember and feel for the young girl involved in this. The teenager who argued with her boyfriend as all couples do from time to time. I send her prayers and energy because, I promise you, without love, support, counseling, and care, she will never get over feeling guilty and at fault. She will never be released from the curse of wondering what she could have and should have done differently. She will walk through her life haunted by a misguided notion that she could have prevented this horrible thing.
And that would be another tragedy .
Because the truth is, she could not have done a thing to stop it. She was not the thing that caused this. She is not responsible for the actions of another. She has a life to live with this as one of the hard experiences that will go unexplained.
She deserves to live a life with as much joy, hope, love, and care as she can find after all of this. Just as the family he leaves behind will eventually, hopefully find their way back to living.
I don't know how it will happen, but I believe it is completely possible. And, I hope for all of us who have been directly or remotely touched by this incident, that we ponder the lessons of living, and loving and trying every day, as they relate to our own experiences.
Can we answer: Are we better Human Beings because we knew this youngster when he was with us along with his choice to leave us? If we aren't made better, then it really will be meaningless. By our actions, let us prove that his life had meaning, even if it is simply to usher in a renewed awareness of how important it is to appreciate those we love every day they are with us.
Recently, a dear friend shared that her mother leaves a candle lighted in the front window all year round, not just the holiday season. She does it as a testament to her constant illuminating love for her children. The candle also shines as their beacon back home again should they ever need it; no questions asked.
I find this outward sign to love and safe haven to be incredibly poignant. I wish that all of us had something like it in our lives. Likewise, we should work to be a beacon of love and safety for all of those we contact. A light that helps someone lost in the dark to reach further and grab hold.
In a house just down the street from me, there is darkness now. Sadness. Heartache. Pain. There is a mother wishing she could light a candle bright enough to lead her son back to her. A family wondering how to move forward with life. In support of them all, I will light a candle in my spirit's window in hope that they can eventually feel the light of peace and love that still exists even though things are forever changed.
For my young neighbor, I hope the light leads him safely home to what waits for us when we leave this Earth home. Lights his path back to the Flame of Love that will not ever be extinguished.
Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Lights A Candle
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