Yesterday I attended the funeral of an 18-year-old boy. At 18 he is not a man, he hadn’t yet been granted the opportunity to live or experience any of the things that I think define adulthood. I generally dislike the expression “there’s nothing worse” but I sincerely believe there must be no greater pain in life than for a parent to bury a child.
I didn’t know him personally and won’t pretend to know what his particular reasons were. All I do know is that he came from wonderfully caring parents. They are generous and warm and always valued him with every ounce of their being. I know nothing of his life outside of his parents and how highly they spoke of him. All I am certain of is that he has left his family with a void that will never be filled. He has handed them endless nights wondering why and what if.
This set me thinking about depression, I guess because it’s what I know and what’s challenged me for much of my life. Depression doesn’t discriminate. It cares not how loving an environment you grew up in or what could become in your future. When depression wants you, it wants you alone and all to itself. Some people meet it once and others, like me battle it on and off for much of their lives. Why it chooses to attack some and not others we don’t entirely know. What I’m quite certain if is that it hits without prejudice.
When and how can we show all kids that this will never be the answer to any problem they may ever face, that nothing will ever be good again without them in this world.