We've had a tragedy here in our little town. It seems that a 16 year old girl was bullied, teased and tormented to the point she could no longer escape her pain.
Over the weekend, she took her own life.
I don't know her, but Cody did. I don't know the details. I'm sure they'll be forthcoming in the near future. Rumor has it, though, that some boy sent her a 7 page long letter in which he said some of the cruelest things imaginable.
In her despair, she sought the only escape she could think of.
This is not my first encounter with suicide. When I was about Cody's age (which is 17, by the way), a former classmate of mine died by her own hand. I felt bad, because I'd never really liked the girl. Still, I wondered, if I had known what to do. If I had known what to say. If I had only reached out to her, could I have prevented her death?
I wonder the same thing about Sara. Was there no one to reach out to her? Was there no one to hear the cries of her heart?
This evening, I sat out on my front steps, watching the lightning bugs. I recalled one of my favorite poems*. I heard the crickets chirping. Somewhere in the distance, geese honked.
And I thought about this little girl. About the life she will never live. All the things she will never experience. Watching the sunset with someone she loves. The joys and trials of marriage. Children of her own.
Catching lightning bugs.
And I couldn't help but weep for her. For the tragedy of a life cut short.
Weep with me, if you have any heart within you. Weep for the girl. And tomorrow, as you go about your business, listen to those around you. Really listen. Not to their voices, or their words. Listen to the cries of their hearts.
It may be that you are all that stands between a life and a tragedy.
*I'd like to be a glowworm
'Cause a glowworm's never glum.
It's hard to be unhappy
When the sun shines out your ***.