Wednesday started off iffy. I get to work and walk in the front entrance, which I almost never do. But as I approach, almost all the lights are off. As it turns out we were running on emergency power. As it turns out, it didn't affect me. My building was fine.
On Wednesdays, I have my 1:1 with people who report to me. At my first one, I was told another employee's son had committed suicide the night before.
He was 12.
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
I was devastated for his mother. I was devastated for him, and I don't even know him. It still hasn't truly sunk in.
For the life of me, I could not (and cannot) wrap my head around the scenario in any way, shape or form. Mostly the age piece. I cannot fathom what a kid would be going through that is so bad that the option was killing himself.
But today's world is a big, ugly place. It probably was when I was 12 too, but save for the playground, no one bullied you. Now it's thousands of potential people all through Al Gore's world-wide-web. Clearly, I have zero idea if that was the issue, but the endless amounts of negativity that can come in any on-line form, can make people severely depressed. And worn down.
Hell, I've been on an anti-depressant for almost a decade. I'm not sure I could have gotten through the BLOTUS years - and since - without it.
I keep coming back to the family. The mom. How does someone even recover from something like this? The short answer is: they don't. Not fully. Not possible.
As it turns out, I had to tell a few folks, and there is seemingly no good way to ease into that conversation. I honestly tried, but without luck. Naturally, the mood the rest of the day was not good. I pitied the folks who got in my way. I was unkind, and unapologetic. I stand by it. Annoyances of behaviour that I had tamped down in the past, I no longer did. I was CRANK-y. I still might be.
This is the second work-related suicide in less than two months. It turns out it's kind of brutal.
My image - once again - is the National Suicide & Crisis Hotline. I really wish people would use it. It's so important.
Song by: Rachel Sweet
Take time, take care of yourself and your team. We can change the world.
It's hard out there for kids with social media so important; the bullying can come at you from every direction almost non-stop.
We all need to set our devices down and listen to one another for a bit; we might see someone struggling and find a way to help.
My heart goes out to that young man's family.
It does not surprise me at all that a 12 year old kid would suicide. That does not mean it is any easier for the families (or in this case the coworker of the family).
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