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The Silence of Death This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Facebook. That is how I found out that a life was taken that night. A life of a high school boy who had just lost his girlfriend and claimed he couldn’t handle it. A boy who was found in the garage by his father, dead. A boy who went to my school.

After seeing the post on Facebook the night before, I knew school would not be as it normally was, but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience. It was Wednesday morning which meant that the Fellowship of Christian Students would be meeting in the gym as usual. I personally was a leader in the organization and arrived relatively early to the shocking sight of a nearly filled gym with quiet students, several high schoolers were crying and hugging one another as I walked in. I took a deep breath and continued inside, noticing that several of the boy’s friends who and never attended the meetings before were there to mourn his death.

We prayed with those who were friends with him and those who did not, but were just as shaken by the death of a fellow student. One boy, who had been in my classes since he moved to our school in junior high, could not stop his tears. I wrapped my arms around him and did not say a word. I didn’t have to, that hug said it all.

After the meeting, we went to his locker and prayed. We prayed for his family, for his father who would never be able to wash away the image of seeing his dead son in his garage and knowing he found him too late to save him. We prayed for his friends, those who would never speak to him again and were not able to save his life.
Several students cried during this, but I did not. Unlike them, I did not know him. He was a year older than me and had never taken the same classes. I had seen him in the hallways, yes, but that was as far as our relationship went. I couldn’t help but think if I had spoken to him, just said hi as we passed one another on the way to class or sat next to him at lunch and acted like a friend, would he still be here? This question left me sick to my stomach all throughout the day. I could not even bare to eat.
The day was quiet. His classmates could not control their emotions, many of them crying continuously, until they had no more tears to cry. His friends in the agriculture construction class, made a wooden sign in his honor that sat in his parking space. This was their way of grieving, no tears just memories. The teachers tried to stay strong for the sake of the students, but many of them could not help but grieve the loss of a student. Many of them blamed themselves for not noticing the signs; some even said they didn’t see any until afterwards.
I look back on this day periodically, always remembering it was the worst day I have ever had inside that high school building that I have dwelled in for four years. I think of the girlfriend who broke up with her boyfriend and will forever feel as though she committed the death of him herself. I think about the parents of a boy who had his whole life ahead of him, but now live each day without their son. And I think of the boy who I will never meet; the boy who was spoken of by his teary-eyed classmates at graduation, but never walked across the stage to receive his diploma.
I will never forget that name, or that day as long as I live. Suicide was not the answer to his problem, or the answer to any problem. Life will get better, you are loved by so many whether you realize it or not, someone cares for you. His death taught me that. Life is precious and suicide is never the answer. I, like the rest of the high school students who attended school that day, will always live with this philosophy. We have seen how such a tragedy can bring us all together for one purpose, life.



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