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OPINION

Where are we suppose to put this pain?

Not to turn attention to myself, but I'm concerned. Honestly, I hate the news. It weighs deeply on me. Every new suicide news piles onto the others in my mind and heart.

Two years ago, I set up a Google Alert for the phrase "teen suicide" to give me factual evidence to discuss, to keep me in this terrible news loop. At first, I would receive news of teen suicides maybe three days a week, perhaps two to four different articles I would never and seen otherwise. It was gut-wrenching. Every one of these teens was someone's son or daughter, somebody's friend forever gone. Each of them was a reminder of the loss of my own son for which I did not need reminding in order to remember.

What I needed was a healthy way to absorb the news without taking on the depression myself. It a way, the news was desensitizing - in a way.

But the news increased. There is both an increase in awareness and an unfortunate increase in the incidence of suicides. More kids are dying, and we are more likely to know about them.

This weekend, I read of a missing 17 year old girl here in California.
[Patricia] Martin, 17, who attended Village High was listed as an "Endangered runaway" when she had not returned home on Monday after leaving on Sunday. Her mother believed she might have been with her 24-year-old boyfriend, James Shanelec from Livermore.

Runaway Patricia didn't get very far in five days. She and James traveled just 20 miles where they were discovered in a $35/night E-Z 8 Motel. The housekeeping maid entered the room only to find Patricia and James both dead of gunshot wounds. It was a murder-suicide.

How unspeakably sad is this for their parents? Not even a month into her senior year, the tragedy of a runaway daughter becomes the mega-tragedy of a daughter murdered by young man she loved. Perhaps the two of them thought there was no way out of their mess (yes, of course he would be going to jail for running off with a minor girl seven years his junior). Or perhaps he decided that if he couldn't have her, no one could. Either way, her days ended early in a cheap motel along the highway in a rough city by the Bay.

Where is anyone supposed to put that story? What are we supposed to do with such sadness? And yet we need to know, need to react responsibly, need to find a way to possibly keep it from happening to another girl. And to the young man, too. It will happen anyway no matter what we do. "So that no other girl/parent will have to experience this again" is a mistaken objective. Of course it will happen again. But perhaps by reaching other young men and women, we can prevent one tragedy here and another there. Maybe some other lives will be salvaged when passional youth realize how badly they could end up.

I feel positive about that effort.

But the factor about which I am cautious today is the daily onslaught of alerts bringing more suicide news to my inbox. That original shower of 3 days per week times 2 to 4 news articles has become 7 days a week each carrying 5 to 10 articles about teens ending their own lives. Some days it is suffocating. Many days I simply can't bring myself to open them all, or even open them at all.

How many of these tragedies do I truly need to read and know? Where am I to put the souls? Certainly, I can't carry them around with me.

Each one weighs so heavily on the reader.

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell | www.Steve-Stewart.com/ChooseLife