Of course this day was going to come.
I never thought about it, so when it did come, it seemed to be out of the blue.
You can't work on a book about parenting kids with mental health challenges and NOT expect to deal with the death of a kid. Well, I didn't. And now we are.
While I did not know her, I knew of her.
But she was someone's child, someone else's friend, someone else's treasure.
And her life is over after a long illness, valiantly battled. I don't use the word suicide on purpose. She was in the throes of an illness that is often hard to see, always hard to understand, and can be fatal.
The photo of her at the prom, a recent one, shows a young lady seemingly on the cusp of adulthood, happy and healthy. As it turned out, none of that was true.
I can't look at that photo without weeping for the loss, the incredible pain her loved ones feel.
I wish there was something we could do.
I wish this will never happen again.
Mental illness is sneaky. It's invisible, often.
It's never a choice.
Just a reminder, for those of you who have children who might be off-kilter, who exhibit symptoms you don't understand, Deb Vlock's book about Parenting Kids With Mental Health Challenges will be pubbed in November.
The only comfort I can find as we mourn this lovely young woman's death, is that we are lighting a candle even if we are also cursing the darkness.