Today was one of those days where being the older and wiser sibling wasn't easy.
Katie, my younger sister, came home today saying that the brother of one of her classmates had tried committing suicide last week. According to the letter that the superintendent sent home, the young man is physically no longer able to be brought back to who he used to be. He's in a vegetative state. Too much damage had been done to his body, to the point where the young man his friends and classmates knew and loved isn't coming back.
Unfortunately, there's not much I could say. What do you say? Not much, I found. None of us could say much of anything. This young man had been struggling with depression, but even with the support of his family, friends, faith, and everyone around him, how do you explain to a fourteen year old that, sometimes, people you know and care about don't always get to live an entire life.
This is one thing that makes being an adult rough.
I really don't know what to say at this point in this post. Beyond hugs and love, what do you say? I'm not a parent by a long shot, but I do know how it feels to lose a classmate and friend - I lost one in both my high school and college graduating classes. But how do you relay those feelings to someone who is a part of a generation that knows and understands so much more about the world than my peers and I knew when we were eighth graders, but is still far from adulthood? I don't understand completely understand what she's going through, but I can relate. At this stage in life, is relating all I can do? Where does the line between childhood and adulthood get drawn in this case?
All I can hope is that, in the coming days, Katie and her classmates, along with the friends of this young man, can begin to find some solace in each other to begin to heal. While I don't think that there is much that can be said from those of us who are adults in various stages of life, that there is something to be said in the silence that may fall over homes and conversations in the coming days; sometimes not knowing what to say is the most grown-up thing that you can say at a time like this.