Courage to live; a letter to teens, poem by C.E.K. Nelson. Illustration by author

Today, in our society, It seems that teenage suicide is becoming an epidemic. When a family or community is stricken with this horrible event or in many cases, events, fingers are pointed, questions are asked and we frantically search for answers. Many times quick resolutions are applied and act as band aides covering a wound that can not be healed. Why? Whose fault is it? What can the schools do to change it? What can we do to change it? Were drugs involved? Was the pressure too much? Were the parents too hard? Did the friends cause this? Many questions , the answers gone with the passed. Perhaps in this world of NOW, immediate gratification, likes and technology based relationships, it is more difficult to see beyond the NOW. Difficult to see a future and change- the world is moving so fast, that it is not moving at all- emphasis placed on what you are now – this is who you are- but what about the possibilities of who you can become? My community was the victim of six teenage suicides in a matter of 1 1/2 years give or take. My family was and is victim of two suicides. Yes, I say victim because we who are left behind are also the victims. We are left to wonder and live with questions unanswered. One thing I know, that love and encouragement is vital as is a sense of worth and this comes from involvement, touch and care-listening and old fashion ” living with and by the rules”- moral responsibility and understanding. If you know someone who is troubled, please pass this poem on to them or don’t be afraid to ask them what is wrong? How can I help? Or call their parents or an adult who can be trusted. Pray for them and all who left us in their confusion and despair. Tell them that their chapter has not ended. Thank you.

Courage to Live, A letter to Teens

Have the courage to LIVE!
And you will see great things.
For your story has not ended,
each day it just begins.
A new chapter,
you can only count on change.
If today is hopeless
next week,
next month, or year
YOU will reign!
We adults seem so perfect,
we push, we yell.
But just imagine us as teens,
our lives seemed like hell!
We made it through,
we had YOU!
Life is a gift,
we now know,
it is hard getting through
this pony show.
And we do get it!
Times have changed,
times are tough,
everyone has it rough.
So look inside
and love yourself
and know one thing is true-
that life changes every day,

C.E.K. Nelson


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