On Sunday night a young man, a teenager, took his own life. He was a senior at the same school where my daughter in is Kindergarten. The outpouring of pain and love is overwhelming.

We are a relatively small community, with something like 250 families, but I did not know the young man well. Nevertheless, the reverberations of loss encompass the entire school family.

As I write, I do not know what extreme internal strife drove this young man to take his own life. Perhaps no one does.

This is a poem that is currently making it’s way around our school community:

I Have Made Ready a Room

I have made ready a room
here in my heart
with walls of warmth
and windows of color
toward every side of the cosmos.

Oceans, mountains, and clouds are without,
within – loving and light:
and here I invite you to come,
dear being I love.

Lead me in what you have learned
now that you have left your body
so early in life
and become a heavenly star:
the up-rising in dying!

by Albert Stefen
(Changed slightly for this occasion)

National Suicide Crisis numbers:
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Austin/Travis County Crisis number:
512-472-HELP (512-472-4357)

For more information about suicide:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention