Wednesday, August 8, 2012
without a doubt, bryce was the most amazing fifteen year-old boy i've ever met.
bryce was someone who, first and foremost, was focused on ways to love and serve others. completely without guile, bryce was the greatest example of charity. when my family first moved to the highland area last year, bryce was the first person to come over, introduce himself, and welcome my parents and lizzie to the neighborhood. his countenance shown and my sisters and i referred to him as "the prince."
lizzie joked that bryce was the glue that held my family together because he was always over at the house helping out my parents or taking care of our family dog, archie. archie loved bryce.
when liz had a small part in the school musical, bryce came to see the performance and afterwards gave lizzie some chocolates and a card that said she was the best part of the show. not because he was trying to "woo" her, but because he was the sweetest, kindest friend.
i always had a special place in my heart for bryce because he reminded me of fifteen year-old chas. bryce was tall and handsome. a bit on the quiet side, he never exuded anything but love and pure goodness with his sweet smile and glowing countenance. the kind of boy that all the kids respected, the parents adored, and the girls had secret crushes on.
absolutely nobody could have predicted what happened yesterday. it totally blindsided everyone.
even now, my head is reeling with sadness, shock, confusion, and questions. to be honest, i didn't even think bryce knew what suicide was. not because he was dumb or ignorant- but because he was just that good.
after hearing the devastating news, i suggested that all the youth and parents in the neighborhood gather together and create a huge memory mural for bryce's family. in my work as an art therapist, i've had the opportunity to go to schools in the wake of a suicide and provide this type of support both through the art and through counseling.
so last night, at 9pm, my parent's house was filled with young men, young women, and parents who knew and loved bryce. we all sat down together and there was a time for people to share their memories of bryce and their thoughts surrounding his death. we then all walked down the street to bryce's house, stood together in the dark, and sang the hymn, "i am a child of god," outside his house. everyone then returned to my parent's house and worked on the memory mural.
last night, was probably the third time in our marriage that i've ever seen chas really, truly cry.
This morning, i was praying to have peace and comfort surrounding bryce's death. a short while later, a thought came to me.
i started thinking of all the ways in which i'd like to be more like bryce. how i want to be able to think of others before myself. how i want to be able to serve with a happy and willing heart. how i want to be able to always have the kind of love for others the way bryce did. i then started thinking that, whenever i'm faced with a decision or situation in which i'd normally find myself criticizing others, hesitant to serve, or self-absorbed, i can ask myself a simple question. "what would bryce do?" i can then choose to LOVE the way bryce loved. in this way, i can personally help bryce's goodness to live on, through my choices and the example he set for all of us. bryce's physical body may be gone but his light can be spread every where through different, more loving, choices i hope to make in his honor.
i'm grateful i had the chance to know bryce.
r. i. p.