When A Child Loses Hope

This pandemic has left it’s mark on everyone – some marks deeper than others. Some will be too frightened to go anywhere again. Some will wear a mask from now on. Some will have nothing more than bad memories. But the epidemic of hopelessness among teenagers seems most tragic to me.

According to a psychologist I know, children in their teen years have lost their will to live in unheard of numbers. Can you even imagine being 14 or 15 and seeing no future for yourself? I really couldn’t imagine that myself.

Or at least I couldn’t until I found out that my 16 yo grandson Matt had confided to his physician that he was having some suicidal thoughts. Then it all came crashing in. This is real! This is happening! My baby is in danger!

My poor sweet boy had not planned the date or time but had definitely planned the method to end his life. That’s how absolutely real it is to have no hope!

My first instinct was to get on a plane, fly two and half hours, go to Matt’s school and scoop him up in my arms like a baby. Then hug and kiss him all over, follow him around so no one could say or do anything hurtful to him. And if anyone tried, I would beat the snot out of them!

That was the Granny bear response in me. But first responses are often primal and not thought out very well.

So what did I really do? After some careful thought, I wrote my sweet darling boy a love letter.

I told him how much I loved him, how much Gramps loved him, how lovable he is in general.

I told him all the things I loved about him – his energy, his love of music, his sense of humor.

I told him how much I appreciated his love of astronomy, his joy of marching in the High School band, how well he plays his saxophone.

I told him how much I enjoyed being around him, the good memories I have of our vacation together and how well he can tell a joke. I ended the letter saying, “Remember you are my favorite!”, which is something I say to all my grandchildren. They all laugh, but it is true. They are ALL my favorite!

Of course, one letter is not a cure-all but lots of love and prayer can certainly tip the scales. And that’s what I have lots of – love and prayer.

Look out Matt! You’re about to be loved on and prayed for, Granny style!!!!!

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