To the kid I never knew

To the kid I never knew-

“If I fail this test I’m going to jump off the building” I’ve heard similar words being said thousands of times while I walk through the library. And I’m sure you heard them too. Too bad no one realized just how real those words could be.

But of course I don’t know why you did it. I didn’t even know you. This is all I will ever know you for. Many students will shutter at the thought of “the kid who jumped off the library roof”

I don’t know why you did it.

I don’t know you.

But I wish I did.

And I wish I could say there will be only good things left behind. But they will talk. “What kind of loser does that” “that’s so selfish” “I couldn’t even enjoy my Starbucks”

I remember my high school history teacher informing a class full of young students that anyone who commits suicide is a coward. That word has stuck in my mind ever since. Coward.

But I don’t think you’re a coward. Not at all. I think you’re brave. And no one will know just how much courage it took for you to hold on as long as you did.

Isn’t it hard to explain what it’s like to be driving down the highway to go to school and to wonder if you could turn the car and drive head on into the cement barrier. To take your meds every morning and wonder how many of them you’d have to take to die. To look out a buildings window and wonder if the fall would be enough to kill you.

Yes they will talk. And they will show that the negative outlook on mental illness is alive and well. But I want you to know that you didn’t die for nothing. You’ve given us a gift, whether people want to admit it or not.

Because of you, people will hug their friends and family a little tighter. They might end stupid arguments that have been going on for too long. They might smile at the stranger walking past them on the staircase.

Maybe “Go kill yourself” could stop being a common insult and instead could be the words no one ever says.

Maybe the words “I’d jump off this building” won’t be joked about anymore.

To the kid I never knew

I hope you have lost all the guilt and shame that came along with those thoughts.

I hope people may see you for who you were; not a loser or a crazy person but a good kid fighting an invisible war.

I hope you never have to see another person face the same choice.

I hope you have peace.