Halloween Suicide

In 7th grade, my friend hung himself a couple of days before Halloween. I learned about it from a couple of crying girls the following morning outside of the junior high. At that age, half of everything you hear about someone else is mere gossip, so I kept watching the school buses, expecting to see him get off one and confirm that it was all a horrible rumor. With each bus that emptied without him, his death felt more real.

Halloween is an especially inopportune for a peer to take his life. Everywhere we looked, the morbid decorations were no longer playful, but yet another reminder of death.

I found it inopportune for another reason, too. We still went out trick-or-treating that year despite the somber mood. At some point in the trek between houses, someone referenced the topic we were all trying to avoid. I chimed in, "I don't get why he didn't at least wait until after trick-or-treating."

I cringe when I think back to that comment. I honestly wasn't trying to trivialize the matter, that was legitimately how I felt. If you're going to kill yourself, fine, but take advantage of the free candy first!

Really, though, the quip speaks to just how young we were. My number one concern then was maximizing the number of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in my pillowcase… there's no way a 12-year-old was capable of making such a final decision about his own mortality.

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