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Do They Know You Love Them?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on April 26, 2012

Yesterday evening, a 16-year-old boy who attends Autumn’s high school committed suicide. We live in a small rural county, so when a tragedy strikes, it affects almost everyone. Disbelief, debilitating grief, and the inevitable questions flew through phone lines, text messages, and social media.

When we heard about it, Autumn was at church for youth group while I attended Colton’s baseball game. Her messages to me revealed her struggle to absorb what had happened. When I picked her up, we talked about the boy for the rest of the evening, and one thing she said still resonates in my mind.

“He didn’t know how much he was loved.”

If that is true—and it’s hard to believe otherwise based on his actions – isn’t it sad? And appalling too? We can become so wrapped up in “life” that we miss the most important aspect of it…other living human beings. That’s the “life” we should be focusing on. Giving. Helping. Listening.

And this isn’t an issue of self-absorbed teens. Each of us can sometimes get caught up in activities and material things while ignoring the people in our lives. Today, many in our county are likely asking, “What could I have done differently?” Or saying, “I wish I had told him….”

Do your children know? Is there any question in their minds? Do family members know how much you love them? Do your friends realize how special they are to you? Tell them. Right away.

Who do you need to tell?

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16 Responses to 'Do They Know You Love Them?'

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  1. Paula said,

    My teenage daughter and I discussed this post. She worries about kids in her youth group at church. One particular girl has not made a profession of faith and my daughter worries that she nags her about it. But, my daughter said: “If I don’t continue to talk to her about it, am I really her friend?”
    Though in our day and time it is hard to tell others about the love to be found in Christ, we can’t stop. We must love and share His love for many are dying to know.


    • Thanks for reading and commenting.I agree with you wholeheartedly. When I ask my daughter about other people, she frequently says, “I don’t know. They might think it’s weird if I ask.” I pray that one day she’ll realize being interested in others isn’t being nosy. Tell your daughter to keep kindly planting the seed. God will do the rest!

      • Paula said,

        Has your daughter seen the movie, To Save a Life? It deals with what teens go through today – bullying, teen pregnancy, and teen suicide. It’s a good one to watch with your teen and discuss such issues. Definitely, watch it with your teen.


  2. So sorry. Very sad when this happens. Good message about love.


    • Thanks, Holly. I almost ignored my blog today, but I couldn’t get Autumn’s comment out of my mind. As usual, writing about it proved cathartic.


  3. Oh Linden…I was so sad sorry to read about this young man. My heart breaks for his family and friends. Indeed, we need to be listeners and to speak our love. It’s so easy for me to be “distracted” by life without pausing to genuinely see the needs around me. Thank you for this reminder. When someone loses hope, we need to be acutely attentive. But…first we need to be able to notice the hope that is no longer in their eyes.


    • Thanks, Sharon. It’s been a rough night and day around here. I watch my 8th grade students every day be “me, me, me” but when I’m honest, I know I can be the same way. I hate that something like this happened to remind me where my priorities should be. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


      • Please know that you and your family remain in my prayers. I sadly understand the confusion/grief/anger as we too have been touched by the tragedy of suicide in our community. May you feel the Lord’s peace and presence even as you rest tonight, Linden.

  4. sharon Srock said,

    Linden you’re so right. Thanks for the reminder about what should be the most important thing in our lives. Our relationships with others.


    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Sharon. I just hate that it takes something so tragic to remind me.

  5. Angela Payne said,

    Linden you hit the nail on the head. Do they know they have friends they can talk to? I told Ashley last night that she knows how it feels to have people turn away when things get rough and it does take a strong heart to get thru it and with a few friends that will support you fully and a family that talks about problems in their lives it is survivable. And of course belief that God will carry you thru. It is heartbreaking to think that they think there is no other way out. So sad but I think we do need to tell our friends and family we love them no matter what! Parent’s please get involved with your children and ask questions. Tough love is hard but it works.

  6. AnnMarie Nielson said,

    SIs, It made me sad to read about the young boy. So sorry for his family. My prayers are with him and his family. With Blake in College at Utah State and Hannah is at Cheer practice right now I sent both of them a msg. saying I love them, I’m proud of them and how much they mean to me!! Thanks for sharing this info. It’s always good to get a reminder because we all can get caught up with all of our daily activities with our kids life. Love you and your family!

  7. Martha Powers said,

    Martha Powers says

    Linden, you are a very special young woman. You and Mark often remind me of an earlier life with my parents Mark’s Uncle Bill and Aunt Frances. Right now the urgency is with the NOW and the upcoming days in your home, school and especially the family of the child. Linden, you have a calming peace about you, a faith and testimony that you are never ashame to bear. Please darling girl, for the present find ways to be close to this child’s family — not to worry about meals, but simply be with them. Make pots of hot coffee, keep a log of visitors to the home, but allow the Lord to use you as His instrument and just be you. The Holy Spirit will testify to you with the very many gifts you have in your speech and actions during this very difficult and impossible time. And know that your Cousin Martha loves and cares for you and each one in this Barrick family because you and I are more than family — we are daughters of our Father in Heaven.


  8. […] I’m not sure if there was a “three” for the rest of the world, but for the county of Mathews where I live, tragedy struck again on Saturday morning when a high school senior was killed in a car accident. It has been almost a year since that class lost another student to suicide. (see Do They Know You Love Them?) […]

  9. Carissa said,

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However
    I am going through issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can’t join it.
    Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!

    !


    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I haven’t had anyone else tell me they’re having RSS problems. Did you get it straight? I’ll check it out and see what’s up.
      Have a great day,
      Linden


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