Death is just something that I don't deal with well. After losing my grandpa, a cousin, and a friend within 6 months a few years ago, I had had enough. Obviously, though, the life cycle doesn't necessarily skip over you because you've experienced a lot of pain in the past. One of my classmates from AU died over this past summer; while we weren't necessarily close, I knew his sister and fiance a little better. And it is just plain awful that someone has to die so young, regardless of the reason.
I found out the latest tragedy to hit AU on Monday morning and have been somewhat haunted by the thought ever since. I didn't know her, but there are just so many questions that this raises for me and I know that we don't have the answers.
There are the initial reactions: did anyone know she had been thinking this? Were drugs/alcohol involved? Was she alone? What would make someone think this is the best option?
And then there are my next thoughts, now that I am working at a university with students her age: Had she shared this information with anyone on campus? What would I have done/what would I do if a student had done this in my building? How can we tell students that there are better ways of coping? What is the best way of helping our students who suffer from mental illnesses? How many of the students I see are having these same feelings?
My dear friend (and former roommate) wrote this wonderful poem about the situation. It definitely helped me put everything into a different light.
I hope you are at peace, Giselle.