How Do We Miss The Suicides?

I just don’t get it.  How can you miss that a kid’s suicidal?

But then I think of all the things that I don’t – or can’t – see as a parent, even when it’s staring me in the eye.

Of course, my heart breaks for the parents and sister of Bartlomiej “Bart” Palosz.  But it breaks even more for Bart.

Bullying is said to be a factor in this tragic death.  I think of the darkness this poor young man must have lived in, the shadow limiting his life. 

Maybe he put on a brave front.  Maybe, like my son, he pretended all was well when it wasn’t. Didn’t anybody see this boy’s pain?

I didn’t know Bart but I feel his death in my heart, maybe because my own son is only three years younger, and I so wish I could have been his friend.

I want time to go backwards, for someone to have reached out to Bart in a class or at lunch, to have shown him he was loved and wanted and worth something.

I, too, have struggled with depression and though I’ve never considered taking my own life (except once, when I was mad at my parents), I know the deep well of loneliness and sadness and hopelessness that shrouds your life, wrapping you in its folds, until you want something, anything, to take away the pain.

I was lucky.  I had people around me who cared.  I so wish that had been the case for Bart.  We’ll never know for sure the heartache this young man experienced in school. We can only guess.  And hurt.

Please don’t think I’m blaming his parents.  I know they did everything they could, and were as shocked as the rest of us.  I wonder if I, too, would see it in my son, who had a girlfriend for two months before I found out.

But I won’t make light of this.  It’s far too serious.  People, look around.  See if someone you know, especially a young person, is sad, or angry, all the time, or withdrawing from life.

Sadly, so sadly, we couldn’t save Bart, may he rest in peace.  I pray he is finally at peace.  But if we’re alert and aware, maybe we can find the next Bart, before it happens again.


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