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On Personal Tragedy

 

The news seems to unfold like a something slowly falling off a shelf. First it just sort of hangs there, and you aren’t sure what is happening, then it begins to move, and before you know it, the thing hits the floor. That’s how it was with Vylit Vander Giessen.

First, there was a report on Facebook, Thursday afternoon, of something happening at the Lion’s Head apartments, over by the High School. Low rent apartments often mean crime, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. Still, this is a small town, so when the police show up somewhere in numbers, it’s news. By the evening we were hearing that a teenager had passed away. “What could it be?” we wondered. Drugs? Alcohol? A fight? Then someone said a teenager shot another teenager? “What the hell?” we thought. Then on Friday morning we learned the truth: a middle school girl had been found dead in her apartment. Before our kids were off to school we learned that Vylit, a friend of our daughter, and in the same grade (7th), had hanged herself.

I had never met Vylit. She’d never been to the house. She was good friends with girls our daughter is good friends with. Though Moriah and Vylit were not close, the news was devastating for us. We learned that Vylit had struggled with kids teasing her. Some called her “Violent Vylit.” One kid is reported to have told her she should just kill herself. Moriah told us that kids teased her without mercy. Though we don’t know for sure, the general consensus from family and friends is that the bullying and teasing is what led to her decision to end her own life.

This hits close to us because we have been helping Moriah through some bullying at school. We’ve tried to encourage her to ignore the kids who tease her, to remember that all kids in middle school are uncomfortable, and that probably the bullies had first been bullied. It is hard not to imagine Vylit’s fate befalling our little girl.

So, like many other families in our little town, we’ve had to come to grips with this thing. It has been a week, but it still brings many emotions. I write about them here in part to deal with them myself.

I am hurt. I cannot stand the thought of a poor little girl, who barely understands the world around her, feeling so lost and alone that she felt the only way out was death. We were not created to live alone. If only I had known…

I feel guilty. What have I done in my community to reach little girls whose lives are miserable? As I said in our church council meeting on Monday night: “In three years of serving on this council, I have not participated in a single decision, the results of which make it less likely that someone who is lost and hurting will take their own life. Not one. What the hell are we doing here?”

I am angry. Who teased that poor girl? Who the hell do they think they are? Why didn’t her parents do more? Her grandparents? The school? This is irrational, I know. Everyone gets teased in middle school. Suicide almost always happens in the context of deep mental illness, as I am told. So it likely wasn’t just the teasing. But anger is a powerful emotion.

I’m afraid. Have I done enough to protect my daughter? She is at a vulnerable age. She is going though that girlish change (if you know what I mean). Is she at risk? Have I loved her enough? Hugged her enough? Told her I love her, enough? I’m afraid.

More than anything, I feel a call to action. I am a Christian. I am called, first and foremost, to seek the lost, the broken, the hurting, and show them that God loves them. Have I been doing that? Or have I gone the way of the typical American Christian? Wringing my hands about things that don’t matter? I want my life to mean something to the people around me.

I know that good articles are supposed to have a good ending. I don’t have one. There isn’t one to this story, not yet. Our family has not fully processed this terrible tragedy. But we are working on it. If you are a praying person, please pray for us, for our daughter Moriah, and especially for little Vylit, and her family.

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  1. Profile photo of Jules PA Member

    Peace and comfort to Vylit’s family, and to yours as well. 

    • #1
    • March 18, 2017 at 11:37 am
    • Like6 likes
  2. Profile photo of The King Prawn Member

    Wow. We haven’t been touched so directly, but our youngest deals with the teasing and the bullying. Her solution has been to craft the persona of a heartless bitch at school. It’s the antithesis of who she really is, but it is the shield she carries to protect herself from the cruelty that is youth.

    On a public policy level we are failing. All the awareness and memes and cutesy crap is no substitute for jerking a knot in the ass of some knothead who uses cruelty to tear down other kids. We should do more to protect our kids from these turds, and do more to protect the turds from becoming the kind of people that do these things.

    Frank will say the bullying made him tougher, but I ask my usual question — to what end? Is becoming tougher necessarily the same as becoming a better person?

    • #2
    • March 18, 2017 at 11:48 am
    • Like11 likes
  3. Profile photo of Stephen Member

    We went through this five years ago. Same age child, similar circumstances, it seems. It’s still too hard to write much about it, but here is perhaps the most important of the hundreds of terrible things I’ve learned: Open your mind–it can happen even in intact and otherwise strong families. We knew our son was sad, but thought it was normal 13-year-old angst (and it probably was). Our range of imaginable outcomes didn’t include suicide, and, having failed to consider it a possibility, we didn’t take any preventive actions. I’ve since come to know of other families who have made the same error.

    • #3
    • March 18, 2017 at 11:50 am
    • Like15 likes
  4. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Spin:. We’ve tried to encourage her to ignore the kids who tease her, to remember that all kids in middle school are uncomfortable, and that probably the bullies had first been bullied. It is hard not to imagine Vylit’s fate befalling our little girl.

    So, like many other families in our little town, we’ve had to come to grips with this thing. It has been a week, but it still brings many emotions…

    I am angry. Who teased that poor girl? Who the hell do they think they are?

    Who? Well, not necessarily kids who had first been bullied themselves. Victim-bullies do exist, of course, but so do pure bullies – bullies who bully and who aren’t bullied in turn. Pure bullies tend to be socially adept, self-confident, and popular.

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    On a public policy level we are failing. All the awareness and memes and cutesy crap is no substitute for jerking a knot in the ass of some knothead who uses cruelty to tear down other kids. We should do more to protect our kids from these turds, and do more to protect the turds from becoming the kind of people that do these things.

    Paul Graham argues that the typical public school creates an artificial environment where zero-sum status-games rule. That the whole idea of locking teens up together, ostensibly to “learn”, but often just as much to get them out of the “real adults'” hair, rather than having teens out in the world, already doing useful stuff, is bound to have downsides, especially for kids less interested in the popularity game:

    …The answer, I think, is that they [“nerds” like Graham was] don’t really want to be popular.

    If someone had told me that at the time, I would have laughed at him. Being unpopular in school makes kids miserable, some of them so miserable that they commit suicide. Telling me that I didn’t want to be popular would have seemed like telling someone dying of thirst in a desert that he didn’t want a glass of water. Of course I wanted to be popular.

    But in fact I didn’t, not enough. There was something else I wanted more: to be smart. Not simply to do well in school, though that counted for something, but to design beautiful rockets, or to write well, or to understand how to program computers. In general, to make great things.

    But

    [P]opularity is not something you can do in your spare time, not in the fiercely competitive environment of an American secondary school…

    I don’t mean to suggest they do this consciously. Some of them truly are little Machiavellis, but what I really mean here is that teenagers are always on duty as conformists…

    (Paul Graham follows up here, incidentally.)

    Scott Alexander argues,

    The DSM lists nine criteria for major depressive disorder, of which the seventh is “feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt”.

    There are a lot of dumb diagnostic debates over which criteria are “more important” or “more fundamental”, and for me there’s always been something special about criterion seven. People get depressed over all sorts of things. But when they’re actively suicidal, the people who aren’t just gesturing for help but totally set on it, they always say one thing:

    “I feel like I’m a burden”.

    Depression is in part a disease of distorted cognitions, a failure of rationality. I had one patient who worked for GM, very smart guy, invented a lot of safety features for cars. He was probably actively saving a bunch of people’s lives every time he checked in at the office, and he still felt like he was worthless, a burden, that he was just draining resources that could better be used for someone else.

    And here I’m gonna say something awkward: teens aren’t wrong, necessarily, to perceive themselves as burdens.

    This ties into what Paul Graham was saying. Sure, some teens are already working to support their families. Still other teens have had the message drummed into them that they’re permitted to drain family resources now because their family expects an excellent return on that “investment” in years to come. But especially these days, that payoff can be long in coming, and the less confident kids aren’t exactly crazy for wondering if they’ll ever make good on all that’s been invested in them.

    Kids who develop real talents or vocations early in life may be at an advantage in convincing their teenage selves they’re not burdens, even as that same development diverts their energies from maintaining a non-awful position in the typical school’s social pecking order.

    I’ll make one more observation: contemplating suicide because one feels like a burden isn’t exactly the “selfish” act I’ve sometimes heard conservatives phrase suicide as being. Which is not to say suicide is right, by any means. But judging oneself a burden to others is, in however distorted a sense, much more other-regarding than simply selfishly wishing to end one’s own private pain, and not caring about who else that ending hurts. Judging yourself that kind of burden is, however erroneously, believing that others would really be better off without you.

    • #4
    • March 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    • Like10 likes
  5. Profile photo of Nanda Panjandrum Thatcher

    Oh, Spin! I acknowledge the inner storm of questions/doubts, anxieties/fears – and the sorrow – that young Vylit’s death raises. I commend you, yours, Vylit and her family, and your whole community into the arms of the Savior, Who welcomes Vylit and calms the storm – day by day – surrounding this tragedy. Thanks for trusting us! Peace and Panda Hugs…

    • #5
    • March 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm
    • Like10 likes
  6. Profile photo of TheRightNurse Member

    Oh my god. This hits me very hard. My daughter is 13 and has been bullied in the past, not remotely like this poor child, but it is very, very difficult. I do not have words. My god. Prayers to your family and to hers.

    • #6
    • March 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm
    • Like17 likes
  7. Profile photo of JL Member
    JL

    Really moving piece, Spin. I’ve got lots of thoughts about this as a Counselor — butI’ll message them to you. Your thoughts at the end about listlessness as a Christian rang true in these ears. Recently I’ve been looking at my career path and just don’t see it effecting the change I am capable of doing for people with Mental Health, addiction, and poverty issues.

    Been praying a lot for some direction on how to pursue this familiar pang of drive that has propelled me before into new chapters. I’ll be sure to pray for you as well, Brother.

    It is a testament to your character that you are looking inward for answers and action. Buck passing is a terrible blight upon our Country. Do not blame yourself or the family or anyone else. That isn’t your place. Use this energy to inform your next move and future behavior. God Bless and thank you for writing.

    • #7
    • March 18, 2017 at 2:13 pm
    • Like16 likes
  8. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Stephen (View Comment):
    We went through this five years ago. Same age child, similar circumstances, it seems. It’s still too hard to write much about it, but here is perhaps the most important of the hundreds of terrible things I’ve learned: Open your mind–it can happen even in intact and otherwise strong families. We knew our son was sad, but thought it was normal 13-year-old angst (and it probably was). Our range of imaginable outcomes didn’t include suicide, and, having failed to consider it a possibility, we didn’t take any preventive actions. I’ve since come to know of other families who have made the same error.

    Stephen, I am so sorry. There are not words, I am just so sorry.

    • #8
    • March 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm
    • Like15 likes
  9. Profile photo of JL Member
    JL

    Stephen (View Comment):
    We went through this five years ago. Same age child, similar circumstances, it seems. It’s still too hard to write much about it, but here is perhaps the most important of the hundreds of terrible things I’ve learned: Open your mind–it can happen even in intact and otherwise strong families. We knew our son was sad, but thought it was normal 13-year-old angst (and it probably was). Our range of imaginable outcomes didn’t include suicide, and, having failed to consider it a possibility, we didn’t take any preventive actions. I’ve since come to know of other families who have made the same error.

    Stephen, my heart breaks for you. At some point, I’m praying soon, you’ll be able to see that not as an error but a hard path you’ve had to trek. I’m so sorry from the bottom of my heart.

    • #9
    • March 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    • Like13 likes
  10. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Thank you, Spin, for this post, and most of all, thank you for caring: you would be amazed by how many people don’t. In most cases, I blame the parents of the bullies. I was a bully until about age 12; in my case, my parents were not to blame, they were just clueless. But I witnessed first hand the callousness of the parents of my mean girl friends: they actively encouraged their daughters to torment other kids. I stayed friends with these girls because I was terrified of being bullied myself; I was a coward and I knew it and I hated myself for it; I didn’t dare tell my parents about it because I knew they would have been horrified by me. By the time I was 12 or so, I worked up the courage to walk away from that group, and my bullying days were over at that point. But my mean girls friends were very open with their parents about the bullying they engaged in at school, and their parents encouraged it : they were not victims of anyone other than their evil parents.But they were the victims of their evil parents.

    This post brought tears to my eyes; prayers for all involved.

    • #10
    • March 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm
    • Like14 likes
  11. Profile photo of Nanda Panjandrum Thatcher

    Stephen (View Comment):
    We went through this five years ago. Same age child, similar circumstances, it seems. It’s still too hard to write much about it, but here is perhaps the most important of the hundreds of terrible things I’ve learned: Open your mind–it can happen even in intact and otherwise strong families. We knew our son was sad, but thought it was normal 13-year-old angst (and it probably was). Our range of imaginable outcomes didn’t include suicide, and, having failed to consider it a possibility, we didn’t take any preventive actions. I’ve since come to know of other families who have made the same error.

    Stephen, no words, just Panda Hugs…Thanks for trusting us!

    • #11
    • March 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm
    • Like7 likes
  12. Profile photo of Front Seat Cat Member

    A precious life. I hear you – and when in the rare times I am on Facebook, I’m appalled. I avoid it like the plague – it’s a trash heap. Between phones, texts and social media, a child’s reputation can be destroyed in a day – and its wrong. From what I understand, this is the chosen subject of focus for the new First Lady. The role models for youth today are terrible. I can’t imagine having a child in the public school system today, especially if it is in the city. You are on the right track to get the parents together, and clergy, and not let it go – make the school get involved. Terribly sad.

    • #12
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm
    • Like10 likes
  13. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    The King Prawn (View Comment):
    All the awareness and memes and cutesy crap is no substitute for jerking a knot in the ass of some knothead who uses cruelty to tear down other kids.

    I’ve said many times: the problem isn’t bullying. It’s bullies. And bullies have to be popped in the kisser before they learn to stop.

    That said, my experience is that most kids bully. And when a group of kids bully, it’s often because they are just happy not to be the one getting picked on for a change.

    • #13
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    • Like7 likes
  14. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    JLock (View Comment):
    It is a testament to your character that you are looking inward for answers and action.

    I appreciate that. I wish that Vylit was still alive, and that I still didn’t know anything about her. But that can’t happen. So I want her death to mean something. So I’m doing something.

    • #14
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    • Like14 likes
  15. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    Stephen (View Comment):
    We went through this five years ago. Same age child, similar circumstances, it seems. It’s still too hard to write much about it, but here is perhaps the most important of the hundreds of terrible things I’ve learned: Open your mind–it can happen even in intact and otherwise strong families. We knew our son was sad, but thought it was normal 13-year-old angst (and it probably was). Our range of imaginable outcomes didn’t include suicide, and, having failed to consider it a possibility, we didn’t take any preventive actions. I’ve since come to know of other families who have made the same error.

    I will pray for you, if that means anything. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that, and I apologize if my post has brought you pain.

    • #15
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:10 pm
    • Like6 likes
  16. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    teens aren’t wrong, necessarily, to perceive themselves as burdens.

    Do you think that, at some level, the lack of “chores” and meaningful responsibilities around the house has some affect here?

    • #16
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    • Like2 likes
  17. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    Spin, my heart hurts for you and all those whose lives have been touched by this terrible tragedy. That’s all I have words for. So sorry.

    • #17
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:17 pm
    • Like4 likes
  18. Profile photo of Kate Braestrup Member

    I’m so sorry, Spin. What a misery for everyone.

    The only help I can offer is to make sure you talk with your darling daughter about Vylit.

    In similar circumstances, as a chaplain, I’ve said something like: “Vylit made a mistake. She thought her life wasn’t worth living. She was wrong. It was. She thought the world, or her family would be better off without her…she was wrong. The world needed her, and her family is in agony without her, and we are all so sad because Vylit is going to miss so many wonderful things.”

    Sometimes kids hear that suicide is a sin, or that God condemns suicides. My answer to that is usually along the lines of:”God knows Vylit, at least as well as you and I know her. So God knows that Vylit was more and better than that one day, that one mistake, that one worst moment. Vylit is absolutely safe with God. We can trust God. And God trusts us to learn as much as we can from Vylit’s mistake, and to help each other live a good, loving, long, happy life.”

    • #18
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:24 pm
    • Like19 likes
  19. Profile photo of MJBubba Member

    Suicide is way more common than most people think.

    There are many sources of the dark thoughts that lead to suicide. Some of them bring a debilitating depression, but some forms of darkness leave the depressed person fully capable of “passing” as a genial well-adjusted normal person. It is often the case that even close family members are shocked by a suicide.

    The grief of the survivors cuts like a knife.

    May G_d bless you , Stephen, and you, Spin, as you work through grief. I don’t have a whole lot of wisdom to share, except to say that adults should make themselves available to listen to kids talk about their issues and problems.

    • #19
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm
    • Like9 likes
  20. Profile photo of Kate Braestrup Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    teens aren’t wrong, necessarily, to perceive themselves as burdens.

    Do you think that, at some level, the lack of “chores” and meaningful responsibilities around the house has some affect here?

    I do, Spin. I thought of that when I saw the picture of the little girl—is that your daughter? Cutie pie!—holding the baby.

    I think kids in general, but maybe especially teenagers, aren’t nearly as worried about whether we love them as they are about whether we (or anyone) needs them. (Mom needs me to hold this baby!) I think I’ve mentioned before a book by Studs Terkel from the ’70s called WORKING. In it, he said that the impoverished Mexican kids he interviewed weren’t told that they were loved very often, if at all. But they knew they were needed—that without their help, the lives of their parents were harder and poorer. So they felt good about themselves.

    I read that book (for some reason) when I was maybe 12? And that part stuck with me, and it made me see my kids’ help with chores differently. (They did more of them than they otherwise might have).

    On the other hand, I have seen so many suicides of kids (and adults) in all different circumstances, and I think it’s pretty hard to generalize, other than that it’s excruciating for those left behind. The red flags—if there were any—are often only visible in retrospect.

    Don’t let the fear of it keep you from talking to your daughter about it—that is, about Vylit and about suicide and mental health more generally. Indeed, it would be a waste of pain to do otherwise, and one of my commandments is “Never Waste Pain.” Pain pushes us to pay attention, to learn, to somehow extract a blessing from disaster…and that’s clearly your intention and desire, so good for you! Your daughter can come through this with a stronger understanding of how human minds work, what makes us vulnerable, and how to increase our resiliency… and this will be useful to her and helpful (possibly lifesaving) to others for the rest of her (long, happy!) life.

    • #20
    • March 18, 2017 at 6:50 pm
    • Like8 likes
  21. Profile photo of MarciN Member

    We are not alone in facing this crisis of adolescent suicide. I read a couple of books a year ago on education reform in China over the past sixty years, written by a Christian reformer, who wrote extensively about this problem. I was surprised. There are many factors that contribute to the high rate of suicide there, and the patterns are similar to the United States. New college students are at a big risk, late high school because of the competition, and early high school because of social isolation from family and friends:

    Although suicide is the fifth-leading cause of death in China, it has become the leading cause of death among young people. It is estimated that 287,000 people –- or one every two minutes — commit suicide every year in China.

    Ten times that number attempt it — but are unsuccessful, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. China now has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

    In 1897, Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, was among the first to notice that there is a higher suicide rate among those individuals who are not socially integrated and didn’t have social support.

    His observations may apply to many Chinese students who attempt suicide. Many of these students come from the interior to the country’s main cities and lack the support of their families.

    [continued]

    • #21
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    • Like5 likes
  22. Profile photo of Patrick McClure Member

    There are no words to make the pain any better. Spin and Stephen I’m praying for both of you.

    • #22
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    • Like11 likes
  23. Profile photo of MarciN Member

    [continued from comment 21]

    In the United States:

    There is one age group that really stands out — girls between the ages of 10 and 14. Though they make up a very small portion of the total suicides, the rate in that group jumped the most — it experienced the largest percent increase, tripling over 15 years from 0.5 to 1.7 per 100,000 people.

    And, Curtin points out, in any given year, there are a lot more suicide attempts than there are suicide deaths. “The deaths are but the tip of the iceberg,” she says.

    I think the world community needs to come together to talk about this. This is one thing that is spreading throughout the world along with the Internet.

    If we don’t talk about this, we’ll lose more kids.

    Death is so attractive when you’re in pain for whatever reason.

    • #23
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:16 pm
    • Like6 likes
  24. Profile photo of Nanda Panjandrum Thatcher

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I think the world community needs to come together to talk about this

    So they can feel good about having defined the problem; and ignore it some more? I have no confidence in NGOs social efforts to solve a personal, spiritual problem.

    • #24
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm
    • Like7 likes
  25. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Bullying and its consequences: just horrible. Words fail.

    When my daughter was in middle school we homeschooled her for a year. Her piano teacher told me that middle school is a nasty pit full of mean girls. I had no idea.

    It does seem like things weren’t like that when I was in middle school (or junior high, as they called it then). I was kind of nerdy even back then and was also weird by virtue of being the new kid from another country. Nevertheless, the other kids seemed nice enough. Have things really gotten that much worse or was I just oblivious? Or are people just nicer in the Midwest?

    • #25
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:26 pm
    • Like7 likes
  26. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    I thought of that when I saw the picture of the little girl—is that your daughter? Cutie pie!—holding the baby.

    No, that is Vylit.

    • #26
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm
    • Like6 likes
  27. Profile photo of Spin Inactive
    Spin Post author

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I think the world community needs to come together to talk about this

    So they can feel good about having defined the problem; and ignore it some more? I have no confidence in NGOs social efforts to solve a personal, spiritual problem.

    Agreed, one million percent.

    • #27
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm
    • Like1 like
  28. Profile photo of Nanda Panjandrum Thatcher

    @drlorentz, I concur; shared misery and enjoyment…With outside interests/supports to make sure a bad day wasn’t the be all and end all of life…Family/faith community/neighbors/chores, or work outside the home (mowing lawns, etc.) to make sure the world was bigger than the inside of your own head and heart…I would not want to be in junior high these days for the life of me!

    • #28
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:40 pm
    • Like4 likes
  29. Profile photo of MarciN Member

    Middle-school-aged girls have special problems. Girls and boys do not mature in lockstep. The girls are having emotional issues in middle school that generally the boys don’t start experiencing until freshman year in high school. By the time a girl is finished with middle school, she has almost reached her adult height, and her body has been working toward creating a reproductive system that can make a baby. It’s a big hormonal and emotional deal.

    Just at the age when girls need the most family support, the most attention to their physical development in terms of nutrition and getting a good night’s sleep, many families are going through divorce, many parents find their daughters suddenly “annoying,” and I’m sorry to say that many staff members in our nation’s middle schools do too. And the homework and school activities and sometimes part-time jobs and family responsibilities such as babysitting are keeping the kids up all hours of the night. Then there’s the smartphone buzzing under their pillow. They get their days and nights mixed up.

    I spent a lot of time in our town talking to our middle school administrators about this problem. The girls are a bundle of nerves and insecurities. They need a special kind of support. We discussed and worked on it together.

    The girls need to be little kids through those years. They need lots of love, but most of all, reassurance. Many of them are terrified.

    • #29
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:42 pm
    • Like5 likes
  30. Profile photo of MarciN Member

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I think the world community needs to come together to talk about this

    So they can feel good about having defined the problem; and ignore it some more? I have no confidence in NGOs social efforts to solve a personal, spiritual problem.

    What I would really love to see come out of such a conference would be a commitment to stop glamorizing death in our media.

    I want to go back to the old days when it was verboten to show suicides on television and in the movies. I would start there. Stop creating a climate of permission to do this.

    It really bothers me.

    And we need to start paying attention to helping kids build their lives with achievements from a very young age. Create opportunities for success. I don’t mean that empty “everyone who shows up gets a trophy.” I mean do what good parents do: find things that their kids are good at. Help them along. And celebrate.

    • #30
    • March 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm
    • Like7 likes
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