It started off as a regular spring day containing all the regular struggles of a high school freshman, pushing through the hallways, trying not to get trampled by upper classmen, etc. However, walking out of the second class of the day something was different. There was an electric tension and an eerie silence that replaced the usual cacophony of class change. I remember turning to one of my best friends and whispering "why are all the administrators in the hallway? what happened?"
We found out as we sat down in the next class. A few classmates were red eyed. Most of us were still clueless. Then the school counselors walked in.
My stomach had turned into knots. Something was wrong. Something was wrong that involved all of us.
The room fell silent. The counselors spoke. "One of your classmates passed away after attempting suicide."
The day before one of my fellow musicians, friends, and classmates was alive. Now I learned I would never get to attempt to teach her how to speak dutch. I would never hear her laughter behind me from the saxophone section.
It was the worst feeling ever.
Many people say you should reach out and call a suicide hotline and tell someone who can do something about it. But what I learned six years ago was you can't always know how much someone needs help. I learned its sometimes those who don't ask for it who end up needing it the most.
That spring day's events 6 years ago changed me. I've become more conscious about what I say and what others say. I've learned to stand up for others instead of expecting someone else to do it for them. I want people to feel needed and for them to realize that even if all seems to go wrong, it isn't all wrong.
The biggest lesson I've learned though is to make sure if you decide to be someone's friend, be there friend through the good times and the bad. Don't turn your back on them because of a personal decision they made; rather help them through what ever follows. Talk to them. Comfort them. Stand up for them. Don't tell people you love them just on the good days. Love them on the bad days.