I’ve seen a lot of young kids do extremely dumb things. Remember my rant about Logan Paul and the suicide forest in Japan? If you don’t, Logan Paul’s Mistake may be a good reminder.
Lots of us hear things all the time about the generation that our kids are growing up in and I’ve thought a lot about this, maybe because my kids are teens. Maybe I just think a lot in general? Who knows.
Lily and I talk on our way to her OT appointments every week, it’s a 15 minute drive, so this is a time for us to chat alone. Today she and I were talking about trying to get her friends’ numbers on her new tablet. It turns out that she had just gotten numbers for two of her friends, who have mental health issues. She told me that she had been worried about them because she hadn’t heard from either lately.
“Mom, I don’t want to lose another friend to suicide.”
Lily will be 13 in February.
No teen, or child in general, should have to deal with that kind of loss, but earlier in the year, one of Lily’s friends completed suicide. She took it hard but has been able to move forward.
This hurts my heart. Throughout my life, I’ve lost an uncle, my dad is an attempt survivor and I’ve lost a handful of friends to suicide. Many of my closest friends have had suicidal thoughts. The suicide loss that impacted me the most, of course, is Jake. My dad’s attempt is a close second because 10-year-old me found him. I’ve been able to process both and move forward, but I’m never going to be the same.
I told her that her friends are lucky to have such a caring friend, because she has a huge heart. She loves to help people, so I can see her going into that area of work. It shows that she actually has been paying attention all these years while I’ve worked tirelessly in the mental health field and gotten involved with the AFSP. But yet, my heart hurts for her.
We become engaged in a passion sometimes when things happen to us that are completely out of our control. For example, several of the kids that unfortunately were victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have gone on to become activists. Cameron Kasky has an amazing Twitter, if you’re on there. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them gets into political office.
I’ve been passionate about mental health and suicide prevention for years, but after losing Jake, I felt like I needed to do something. I speak up more than I used to, became and AFSP volunteer and started this blog. I’ve always said that if my writing helps even one person, then I have accomplished my mission- to educate and hopefully, someone thinks again.
I just wish that Lily didn’t feel the need to worry so much about her friends. That just isn’t the world we live in. If more kids band together and take care of each other, I think they may do well in the future. I see articles all the time about kids who organize food and clothing drives because they want to help other kids. There’s kids who are out there trying to save the planet, literally. I think it’s fantastic. All we can really do as parents is encourage them to do what makes them happy and generally good people.
I guess this is a sign that I must be doing something “right” with at least one kid. It’s hard to see this sometimes and I wonder everyday about this. Clearly, parenting is full of surprises. This is a good one.