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Thursday, January 19, 2012

This one is for all the kids (Mine and yours.)

Yesterday I wrote a letter to my daughter Annie (and her friends and all other teenagers). The letter was in response to the suicide of a beautiful, talented, well-loved 16-year-old girl. The message was "Have someone." If you haven't read it yet, please do so here.

Today my mind has been filled with aching for this child who felt such deep despair that she made a tragic decision. I've prayed for her parents and siblings who must be wondering "why?" I've imagined her friends, gathered and wondering what they missed, what more they could have done.

I don't presume to have any answers. But I do have another message for you, Annie. And for Charlie and Robbie and all of us.

Be someone.

Be someone who is willing to walk across the cafeteria or the playground to talk to the person who is always standing alone, no matter what others might say.

Be someone who steps outside of your circle to partner up with someone you don't know very well for the science project or the sit-up challenge in gym class.

Be someone who smiles and holds the door open and says "I like your hair" or "You are a good artist" or "How was your weekend?"

Be someone who really listens -- puts down the cell phone, the video game remote, the laptop and listens with your ears, your eyes and your heart.

Be someone who hears what others are saying...and what they are not.

Be someone who refuses to laugh at another person's expense.

Be someone who isn't defined by a group or a label like "hipster," "jock," or "nerd." Instead be someone who has friends in all those groups and who can bring people together.

Be someone who is honest, who doesn't sugarcoat your own life. Be real so other people can see that we're all in this human-ness together, that we all struggle.

PhotobucketBe someone who lets others know that they matter.

Be someone who isn't afraid to break a friend's confidence and go to an adult if you think they are in danger.

I know it sounds like a tall order. But I know you can do it.

I believe in you.



Ellen aka Ellie said...

I like that. Be someone.

CWMartin said...

I had a recent post about what to ask me if I had 24 hours left. one certain question pertains here.

30 and 31- What one thing would you like to tell your kids before you go? For KC, I think I already covered that a few nights back- “If one of us makes it through, we all have a chance.” For Shenan, “Take life seriously. Take yourself seriously. Take your future seriously.”

Anonymous said...

Your post reminded me of someone I went to hs with, and you married him.

Rebecca said...

Both this and yesterday's posts are great, Amy. This one is going to be on our fridge later today. Thank you for taking the time to put into words what (I hope!) we ALL want for our kids to be. It's also a wonderful reminder of the person I want to be.

None of us ever knows exactly how our actions affect others. We really need to tune in and BE SOMEONE. :)

Mike Magan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

A point of clarification, Mike. The Catholic Church used to teach that. However, the understanding of depression as an illness and an embracing of mercy have changed that. Unfortunately, the new thinking is not as well known or understood by the general public.

kimybeee said...

very well said!

and as for that whole where you are headed scenario - none of us can presume to know where someone is with their god and i always like to think that they made it right, even if it was at the last minute!!!

Cyndy Bush said...

These are both wonderful posts, and so important.
I especially like the one about NOT sugarcoating life. I dont know how I would have dealt with some of my own problems in life without my incredibly genuine, open best friend, who made me realize I was not alone.

Mike Magan said...

Thanks anonymous, made my day!

Christy said...

a wonderful post. so sad about that poor girl.

Amy said...

Anonymous - You help me see with renewed eyes. Thank you.

Unknown said...


Nate's Mom said...

Wow, just wow. Thanks for sharing this Amy. I am going to share it with my kids too. I like the idea of putting it on the refrigerator too. It's a message you can't hear (see) too often.

Sheri in CA