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Teen Suicide: We Are In This Together

The vision of the well-loved stuffed toy wolf placed lovingly on the podium beside him before he began his daughter’s eulogy is forever ingrained in my mind…and heart. His name was Wolfy.

For those who don’t know, my youngest’s two most precious loveys are the exact same sized little stuffed animals: Foxy and Racoony. She doesn’t sleep without them. 

Seeing worn, loved Wolfy made me lose my breath.

Lizzy is all of our children.

Despite Mike being the one up there today sharing a loss most of us can’t even imagine, each of us is equally vulnerable.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in children 12-18 years old.

Let that sink in. Teen suicide is more common than cancer. More than homicide. And the rate has gone up in the past 20 years.

But why?

We don’t know always know why someone feels so lost and alone, their future appearing so bleak and out of control that they decide to take their destiny into their own hands. That why is what eats us up when we lose someone this way. Since we can’t know WHY, the important question becomes WHAT NOW?

I don’t know. What I DO know, is that we all need to do better.

Watch for signs of suicidal thoughts and plans. Don’t just let someone know you are available, go to them. Call them. Show up at their house with a movie and snacks. Take them for coffee. Drag them out for a walk at the park. And listen.

Take all warning signs seriously. And enough with the idea of people “doing it for attention.”

Download this pdf of warning signs, and share it with your children.  If you save just one life, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Wolfy looks just like Racoony.

Lizzy is my child. She is your child, too. We are all in this together.