Friday, January 16, 2015

Love in the Darkness (Suicide)

Yesterday I told all my students that I love them, that they are my family, that I would do anything for them whether it's today or 20 years from now.  And the phrase "Ohana means family" comes to mind, which is a not-so-ironic twist to the reason I'm telling them this.

I'm saying these words to them because my heart is mourning the loss of a 15-year-old boy, even though I barely knew him.
Because a mother should never have to put her child, her own heart, in the deep earth.
Because the first time I saw this boy, he was an infant in a stroller, and his mama beamed down on him with adoration and pride.
Because fewer than 15 years later, this same boy would not think of himself as a bundle of joy, though that joy he will always be to his mom and dad...except now as they are forced to put him in the ground in January.
Because my sister questions what she could have done differently as a friend to make him believe he should stay here, that he can pray instead of putting hope in a gun and one final decision.
Because when I saw his obituary today, there was an untold story.  There were thousands of blank pages that were supposed to be filled after the picture of a handsome Hawaiian boy in his Hollister t-shirt.
Because I know the engulfing despair of darkness that comes some time before the bullet, but somehow I got to crawl out of the dark, and this boy did not.

Ohana means family...and it took something as desperate, cold, and earth-shattering as this for me to pause and say, "I love you." 
Though I know for many that love doesn't feel like enough.  A teacher saying "I love you" might mean absolutely nothing.
But what if it means something, even for one?

Kasey, Jr., I know you are loved.  I believe you knew you were loved, too, but maybe you lost sight of that for a moment.  I know that God always loved you, and He still loves you.  You were but a child, and the world didn't make sense yet...and for sensitive souls, it almost never does.  
I will keep praying for your family, for your friends.  I will hold my sister's hand as she walks through the trial of emotion that sudden death brings.
And for you, sweet Kasey, I imagine that Jesus welcomed you into His arms when you arrived because He once prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  

Father Forgive Them by Akiane Kramarik

And I pray that your friends and family feel a touch from the Father Himself, especially your mama and daddy.

Praying is all I know to do in times like these.  I pray that every person in my life will know the relentless Love of our Abba Father, that times of darkness can never overwhelm the power of Love.