Saturday marks the first birthday that my daughter’s college teammate isn’t alive to celebrate. He committed suicide in December 2021. His birthday was July 2. He would have turned 25.
My heart hurts for all those who lost this amazing young man, including my daughter. I cannot imagine how his mom is able to get through this “holiday weekend.” He was especially close to his sister and she posted a loving story with photos on Instagram that I read and burst into tears.
We became close to the family at swim meets while our kids were in high school. We often sat with them at college dual meets and the PAC 12 championships.
I think many people left behind carry guilt. “If only I would have called.” “If only I could have let him know how much he meant to me.”
From the UCLA Health website:
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people age 15 to 24 in the U.S. Nearly 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made an attempt to take their lives, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Recent weeks have brought heartbreaking examples of this trend, including the March 1 death of Stanford soccer captain Katie Meyer, 22; and Ohio State football player Harry Miller’s revelations that he attempted suicide, shared his struggles with his coach and got help. Miller announced his medical retirement from football on March 10 in a Twitter post that’s been shared more than 10,000 times.
“This is not an issue reserved for the far and away,” wrote Miller. “It is in our homes. It is in our conversations. It is in the people we love.”https://connect.uclahealth.org/2022/03/15/suicide-rate-highest-among-teens-and-young-adults/
I know a lot of people have lost their love ones recently due to illness and then my daughter’s college friend. My heart and prayers go out to them all.