Thursday, November 3, 2011


It's odd and even frightening how quickly the daily routine swallows a tragedy. Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a 16 year old boy. Today, I am immersed in setting up an e-mail distribution list for all current students and their families, finishing up some Safer Spaces reports, preparing the next fundraiser and beginning the writing of a classroom event for parents and children in two weeks time. The memory of Jose's face will fade only to be revived occasionally when I happen to see his memorial card in my Book of Christian Prayer or when I see his mother and sister at Sunday Mass. I feel that I should stand with fist in the air, shouting his name so that it will not be forgotten that Jose walked these halls, sat in these classrooms ... and that we adults, who should have protected him, did not recognize his pain or heal his wounds and don't deserve to sink back into complacency and routine so very quickly and easily. The sharp sting of "what if..." should linger longer. What a weakling I am, unable to hold a focus long enough to learn a lesson.


Anonymous said...

God bless you Riona. Suicide is always difficult and terrible.

missy said...

I can feel your pain through your writing. Having had a family member commit suicide only two years ago the questions and guilt never go away.

I send up prayers for Jose's family and friends.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

It's not weakness, it's human nature. It's how we cope with the hard times. You simply can't spend every waking minute thinking of the departed, you need to focus on the living too.
I'm sure there will be a memorial for Jose soon so he will never be forgotten. He'll live on in all your memories.
Sending some (((hugs)))

mainely stitching said...

I lost a friend a few months ago to suicide and at first, I thought of him every single day - again and again through the day - and was constantly on the verge of tears. And then I thought of him daily, but maybe only once or twice. And so on ... I still think about him a lot, but a couple of days go by, and then it hits me that I can't tell him this thing, or he won't ever see that thing and it hurts all over again.

I don't think anyone chooses suicide, I think that sometimes the darkness is just too hard to get out of. I miss my friend but I'm no longer angry at him for leaving us. I think he stayed with us for as long as he could, and I'm grateful he stayed as strong as he could for as long as he did.

Carissa said...

Riona, I can only imagine trying to deal with your feelings after something such as this. My younger brother attempted suicide no less than 4 times and nearly succeeded the last time and the aftermath of that was horrible.

Thinking of you and praying for you.

Eva said...

Hugs for you, Riona, during this difficult time.

A number of years ago, a young lady (teen) who worked for me in the church office part time died of suicide. She was also a very close friend of my two younger children, and on the high school swim team which my gentleman friend coaches and in some of the classes that he taught at the time. It was a very difficult and painful time for all of us. John and I spent a great deal of time with all the high school students that were distraught and hurting and also had to grieve ourselves. I think the most helpful thing that we were able to tell all the teens is that Danielle didn't "commit" suicide, but rather she died "of" suicice. We told them to think of it as another illness that was very hard to deal with and cure, like cancer. We still all think of her often even as the years have passed. The hurt really never went away, it just became a little easier to bear.


Rachel S said...

I feel such pain in your writing. Somewhere, a long time ago, I read that we are never really gone as long as someone remembers us. Just remember him. I am so sorry for your loss.