Last week, I drove into the parking lot and began to pull into one of the few empty spots left.
As I was pulling in a young boy between the ages of 13-14 ran into my parking space and motioned for me to roll down my window. It was obvious to me that he was in a hurry. I quickly rolled down my window. He mentioned the name of the person he wanted to see and wondered if he was in the right place.
I told him he was.
He took off in jog. Then turned around to me and yelled, "Where is the entrance?"
I told him the entrance to the church was just down the sidewalk and would be on his left.
He was only 20 yards from entering the church that was holding the funeral service for a young girl his age. Was he her friend, a classmate or family? I will never know. I do know he was alone, upset, and the middle school the young girl had attended was only blocks away from the church.
The night before, her death was talked about on the local news, a friend of mine (who would be singing at the funeral) had posted a link to the news story on Facebook. It seems this young, bright girl had died "playing the choking game"
Which is basically when a person strangles themselves with either their bare hands, scarf, belt or other object for a period of time. "When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time." ~ www.gaspinfo.com
I just happened to have to go to church that morning to pick something up in the office. I didn't know this young girl. I knew her name and when the funeral was because of the news story and Facebook message. But I couldn't help but cry for her. A life cut so short, because of what? Trying to get high, without using drugs or alcohol? And I couldn't help but cry for that young boy who lost his friend. And I did, I sat in my car and cried.
These past few weeks, Sassy and I have been reading this book (I also pulled out my old college anatomy and physiology text books). We've been discussing the changes her body will be making as she keeps growing up, and a bit of the birds and the bees. We've been talking about "not trashing your temple." You know, no drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and taking care of your body with diet and exercise. But NOTHING about suffocating yourself to get high.
I'll be honest here; I wasn't excited to go into this with her. And the only reason I did when I did, was because they were going to discuss the female and male bodies at school. Not just parts, but periods and all that jazz. I wanted her to hear it all from me first. What she needs to know and what we believe.
I am not perfect and I'm sure I missed some important things.
I didn't talk to her about the "choking game" but I will be. And these conversations will be ongoing, because new things come about everyday, new questions and new experiences. There will always be stories to learn from, questions that will arise and feelings that she has yet to feel. But the door has been opened and the conversations have begun and as a mother I can only pray that I have taught her enough.
For more information regarding "the choking game" check out this website.