Monday, March 18, 2013

Life is Hard-Good Friends Help

On March 7th Emma's life changed forever. One of her classmates, you could even call him a friend, committed suicide.

That night I was out to dinner with a dear friend that I have known since 4th grade who was in town from Kansas. When I was driving home I called Emma and asked if she could make the bathroom presentable. Paul had taken the kids out to dinner that night and when I was talking to her she said that all of these cop cars went flying right by our house. When they were coming back she could see all of the lights still at the far end of our road but he wouldn't let them go and investigate. She was joking around saying she knew I would have driven that way to see what was happening. We didn't think anything else about it.

Right when I got home with Cindy, we were just coming into the house, Emma got a text saying that a fellow classmate had passed away and to wear dress clothes to school the next day in his honor. They mentioned the boy by name in the text. The look on her face is something I will never forget. It was a combination of confusion, sadness, shock, horror, disbelief; it was awful. Her eyes welled up with tears, she looked up at us and said, "my friend is dead." The texts just kept coming. The Facebook statuses kept coming. It was all so overwhelming for her. She didn't know if it was true or a bad hoax. She didn't know how to deal with these feelings.

That whole night she cried and struggled to get through her homework. She had so many questions. She had just seen him that day.

We found out the next day that all of those police cars were indeed dealing with this tragedy. School was not normal for Emma. Grief counselors were on hand. Classes were held but nothing was taught. She texted me throughout the day. Stories were shared. Tears were shed. We found out way more than we wanted or needed to know. I cried a lot that day. We all cried. We all suffered. We were all very confused.

Friday after school balloons were released in his honor. Posters were signed. People hugged and then cried some more. She was numb. She said she didn't have any tears left.

Friday night there was a candlelight vigil held on the track field at the school. She went with her sweet friend Kayla. They were there for over an hour. I went for a while hoping for some closure but eventually realized that I just needed to wait it out in the car. Emma said it helped to be able to share more stories, laugh and sing songs.

Saturday my parents came and took us out to lunch. I could tell she felt it would be disrespectful to him if she had fun. We talked about it after lunch. It seemed to sink in.

Our friends called and offered to come play a game with us. She had fun. It was good to see her enjoy herself.

Sunday was emotional again. They talked about the Atonement in young women and how it can help in hard times. Everyone at church was so kind and gentle with her. She got hugs and a lot of love. One of my thoughtful friends gave her a necklace that said I AM A CHILD OF GOD. That night she was doing better. I felt so much love from so many people. It was the silver lining of this tragedy.

Monday was good! She was almost back to her old self. She decided against going to the viewing that night. She didn't think she could handle it. I supported that choice.

Tuesday I let her stay home from school so she could attend the funeral. She got there early and went to the viewing that morning. She was able to see him for the last time. It was hard. She sort of wishes she hadn't but at the same time it gave her the closure she needed. After the funeral she went back to school. She didn't tell me much. She's opened up a little here and a little there but I still feel like I don't know everything I need to. She seems to be doing well at this point but she still has the program from the funeral in her binder. I know life is hard but 14 isn't the age where you should be dealing with stuff like this.

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