It is a sad week in our community. Two young girls took their lives this past weekend, acquaintances of one another. I went to church with one of them, and coached a church cheerleading team with her mother. Her little sister was on my squad. I ran into her mother just a couple weeks ago at Starbucks.
My heart absolutely breaks for these families, and I find myself thinking about the most recent encounter I had with this girl. She was 16. She asked about my pregnancy, and congratulated me. It was all very casual, in passing as we ran into one another after church service. I wonder, was there something that I or anyone could have done to convince her that life was worth living?
Despite my brief encounter with her, it is the effect her death will have on her family that keeps my mind reeling. It really makes me think about my responsibility as a parent, and the terrible burdens that face teenage girls today. In my own mind I just cannot imagine life being that bad. I could not imagine being her mother. I could not imagine the personal demons she must have faced to see death as the only reasonable alternative.
Part of me thinks that this is fake. That she is still alive. That this is all some terrible joke and that I will not be attending her funeral service on Thursday. But it is very real. And families are saddened beyond measure, souls are damaged, and life will be altered in some way for each life she touched.
So please, offer up a prayer for these families. Ask for peace. And forgiveness. And then go give your sweet preciouses a squeeze and make sure they know how much you love them and how important they are to you. Life is far too short.
*If you are familiar with these families, please do not mention their names in your comments in order to protect their privacy. Thank you.