It’s always the “why”…

He died instantly…of that I am sure. It’s the “why” I’m unsure of. Just like all of the other awful things that I’ve experienced in the last 10 years, “why” is the screaming elephant in the room for me today. What could be so terrible that a teenager would choose to end his own life? I know that young people experience a tremendous amount of stress in having to navigate their teen years, and that this is compounded by the pressure that social media places on them to be cool, or hip, or whatever it is that they feel pressured to display. But to be so deep in despair that choosing to die seems like an acceptable alternative…well that’s a place I don’t know how to get to. And just like my own personal Hells, I wish I could go back in time. To look him in the eyes and to tell him that love can overcome anything that is tearing at his mind.

Love heals, love binds our wounds, and most of all, love sustains us. But God doesn’t allow us to go back and warn our past selves of our impending foolishness, so we go on making the horrendous mistakes that cost so much time and connection with those we love. We go on wondering what was going through that young person’s mind that seemed to be OK with life, only to learn very soon after that things were really unbearable for them. We go on seeing the fragility of life and how quickly it can be snatched away without warning, leaving those people who love us behind to wish they had known…

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” I Cor 13:7-8a