Summer Kirby

Last week our community suffered a terrible loss of a wonderful young man in his 20s. He was a classmate of my son and he was known as “H”. Tragically he took his life. It has weighed heavy on my heart and on our entire community. How could we lose a young man with such potential and charisma. It brought me back to that time almost 11 years ago when my brother passed the same way. No one could believe it and it was a terrible shock. He was so outgoing everyone said – his smile was magnetic. The same was said about H.

It makes me realize that we need to check in on each other. The person you think might have the most going for them could be suffering privately or in silence. I won’t try and understand why. Suicide does not make sense. The realm of that person’s suffering and pain in the moment they take their life is not a rational brain. It is lacking all decision-making skills. It simply wants the pain and despair to end. If you have not been in that moment, you cannot understand. I had to make peace with that a long time ago and it is a struggle every time someone dies this way. It affects me to the core.

It also made me see once again that men and women grieve differently. I cried a lot of tears over both of these deaths. With my brother, I thought the tears might never stop. My husband may have cried the day it happened and at the funeral but not in my presence again that I can recall. That frustrated me. I need to talk and process these deaths and it is too painful for my husband. If we don’t discuss it, you don’t have to think about it. It becomes less real.

But my husband has his own way of grieving and its quite beautiful. He sent me this picture from San Diego where he was playing in a work golf tournament. He wrote H 22 on the ball. My son’s friend and classmate’s baseball jersey. This was his way of grieving and taking a moment to honor a life well lived and one not to be forgotten and it was beautiful.

Farewell H. May you hit them straight and until we meet again, I hope you are throwing a baseball with my brother Matt up in Heaven. I can see the two of you being fast friends.