I must say though, that sometimes as teachers we don't help with kids like him. Bright, creative, headstrong, tempestuous ... sometimes they are so difficult to figure out. What they end up hearing from us is the blah, blah, blah of how they are not applying themselves and not working to their potential. None of it helps with a mind on the edge.
I'd read about him in the paper a few years earlier. It was a tragic event which ended in a conviction and the loss of his child. I'm in no way placing blame or condemning his actions. It was all so unfortunate. Life is about choices. He chose drugs and it finally caught up.
My heart is broken. Why couldn't he choose himself? Why couldn't he choose to continue to get help over the years and stay clean? Why didn't knowing he had family and friends who loved, cared for and supported him change his course in life? I refuse to believe he intended to die. Why? So much potential discarded.
Of course, I know the answer. Our minds are fragile. Addiction is complex. I am a saver by nature and my broken heart is telling me to tell someone out there to choose yourself. Fight for yourself. Every person possesses unique qualities that have the potential for impacting others and the world in magnificent and important ways. Choose yourself! I'm afraid though that it is not always that simple when life smacks us in the face.
In the end, I hope people will remember this young man for his kind and gentle heart, his creative mind, his musical and artistic talent and not the demons that stole his beautiful life.