I didn't see when the original event was posted up to say about Andy's passing away. So I only realised it when the KYC CA's posted words and photos of being at Andy's wake.
I was puzzled because he had looked really healthy the last time I saw him... Albeit that was two years ago at camp. Fit, strong, brown... Too quiet, deep thinker, mature, really interesting to talk to. I thought perhaps it had been an accident. But thinking of Andy, I wondered...
And finally one of the CA's replied to tell me that, yes, Andy did commit suicide as I'd thought. He hung himself and his grandmother found him.
Melody told me she was going for the funeral, and I quickly dressed and sped off. Luckily just in time before the service started. They were waiting for all his friends... All young, lovely people... Just like Andy had been.
I met his mom... She looked so lost. And I met the other volunteers and CA's who had managed to make it for the service.
We were all in tears... And none more so than the family. I salute their courage in the most painful time ever. They were in so much pain. His mom cried out longing for him to be back. His grandmom (he was the favourite grandchild) just could not accept he had gone.
Dear Melody cried so much. I asked her if this was her first suicide, and she nodded. She asked me, "This is what you're afraid will happen to our youths right?" And I nodded yes. This was not my first suicide amongst the youths. And when you've gone through that once, I think it will always change you. There's a part of you that fears the worst, but is ready to accept it too. A part that whispers, "I can't change your life for you.. And I have no right to make decisions for you... All I can do is pour in whatever I can and that is all."
Melody shared that one of our youths had contacted her at 1a.m. and she had had such a fright. But it turned out to be something quite routine. I laughed. The youths always do that. But it brought home to me how much some of the volunteers give outside of the standard 'volunteer time'. There ARE volunteers 'there' for the youths now.
It was hard for me to focus today though... Brought home to me P's suicide... S's attempted suicide just before last semester's exams... And all by hanging.
It's been a tough day... But it must be tougher for the others. Just need to remember that and refocus... And Andy, kiddo... I love you and I wish you'd known how much you were loved.