Today I learned of the death of a young girl from Indianapolis. She was 16 years old -- just a year older than you. Like you, she was into theater. Her friends described her bright smile, the way she brought life to a room just by walking into it. That reminds me of you. By all accounts, she was well loved.
Yet, yesterday this bright, sparkling girl took her own life.
I didn't know her, but her news of her passing took my breath away. It hit too close to home for this mom of a theater-loving, smiling, laughing, well-loved teenage daughter.
And so tonight, I'm sitting here writing this letter to you -- and to your friends and to any other teenager who happens across this post. What I want to say is this:
Have someone, an adult, in your life that you can talk to. Of course you can talk to me or Dad. But I was a teenager once. I know that sometimes your parents are the last people you want to talk to. And that's ok. We don't have to know everything. We might want to, but we don't have to.
But have someone who you trust to tell those things to. Have someone who you can confide in; who will keep your confidence and who will also know how to take care of your heart; who will know when to just listen, when to step in and do something more.
And to your friends who might be reading this, if you need someone to be that person in your life, I am here.
I feel like I should go on here to say how much you are loved, how much joy and pride you bring to my life. Those things are true and I hope you already know that.
But I think I just really want to say have someone, because no one could replace you in my life.
In honor of Maggie
and in support of To Write Love on Her Arms