So, yesterday I received a tip from a really great guy that there was a blog post written by a highly suicidal young man. The guy who tipped me off said that he himself has commented on my blog before, and that he often disagrees with me, but that he prayed about how to help this young man and felt directed to bring the post to my attention.
Coincidentally, I had just seen a tweet from Jenny Lawson about a suicidal comment on her blog and I absolutely loved her helpful approach, so because that was in my mind I knew exactly what I should do. I posted a comment on the kid’s blog, and then I posted on my blog’s Facebook page and let people know that there was a kid who was deeply suicidal, and that he needed to know that he was loved and not judged.
And boy did you guys take the cue. Messages started pouring in, and within 24 hours, there were at least 45 heartfelt messages (from varied sources) letting this young man know that he was loved, that he was needed, that his value wasn’t dependent on his decisions in life–that he was amazing and had a place with us no matter what. That God loved him and that we loved him. Stories about depression and making it through the darkness. Stories about loss. Real people telling real stories about pain and about recovering from pain. Telling this young man that he is loved, and that things will get better, and that he has a community that loves and supports him no matter what.
It’s been 24 hours since the message flood began, and there has been no response from him.
The post went up last Thursday. He sounded deeply, deeply suicidal. Suicidal to the point that he was seriously contemplating ways to die constantly.
This kid was at incredibly high risk.
There are many reasons we might not have heard from him yet. Maybe he doesn’t check his blog every day. Maybe he felt so much pressure at having so much attention that he doesn’t know how to react. Maybe his family went on vacation. Maybe he attempted to take his own life but was discovered in the process and now he is hospitalized, being nourished by those he loves, being shown the love and care he so badly needs and deserves.
But maybe all that beautiful love and support, which truly touched my heart, showed up too late.
Maybe we lost another kid.
This isn’t fake. This isn’t propaganda or agenda-driven. This is actually happening. We might have just witnessed it. And I am truly haunted by the implications and the loss.
What can we do to make sure that our support for our gay youth doesn’t show up a day too late?
If you choose to comment and share ideas, please resist finger-pointing and blaming. If we have lost someone, we are all in this together, and, in the spirit of the original commenter who disagrees with much of what I say but felt comfortable coming together with me to help try to save a life, let’s all come together and brainstorm ways we can be of help to those who need us.
What do you personally commit to do to help make sure this doesn’t happen to our gay youth and loved ones anymore? What can I do? What can we all do?
Let’s help make change happen.