Friday, November 28, 2008 ;
12:24 AM
Normally I don't comment on current issues but this piece of news just made me feel so bad.

For the parents, the mom especially...
For the sister of the boy, who is only 10 yrs old...
For the teacher in charge of Track and Field...
For the school, ACS (I)..
For his friends who received his text message and the one who went home together with him...

For the boy himself...

The article can be read here, or on Straits Times online, or any other website with Spore news.

As a mother, I cannot imagine how much pain I will have to live with for the rest of my life, if I were to see my son jump to his death right before my eyes.

The guilt and self-blame will be made worse by the fact that he had wanted a change in activity and I as the mother was trying to dissuade him.

The same goes for all the rest of the people. The father, the teacher.. they will keep asking themselves, what else could they have done to prevent his death.

When someone commits suicide, no matter what others say, and no matter that it is the truth that it was his own choice, those around him, especially those who saw him for the last few moments, will always live in guilt and always ask themselves if they could have prevented it.

When someone chooses to end his own life, the ones who love him most are always the ones most hurt.

[People whom I know have committed suicide before. Even if they weren't my close friend, I felt the loss badly. I do think back on the times I had talked to the person or interacted with him/her, and will always wonder if I could have done more for the person when he/she was alive. What more would someone near and dear to him/her feel?]

As a teacher, (although I could never see myself doing that, punishing a student with more of what he hates, and calling up the parents to advise them what to do) I wonder if I can continue teaching. There would be so much pain each day too. I feel for the teacher. I know he is just trying to do his best for his Track and Field team. He was tasked by the school to get more awards, he must be under a lot of pressure. It's easy for me to write now, what he should have done, so I can't do something so cruel.

I don't know if the sister is left in Spore while her parents went overseas to "forget everything" but if she is, I feel so bad for her too. To lose her brother in this manner, and now to "lose" her parents too. They must be so caught up in their pain and agony in losing one child that it is hard for her to ever enjoy the same kind of family life she was used to before.

For the school, I feel bad because of the bad press. So many forums are now slamming the school and the system of not allowing kids to change their activities. But they don't know that a lot of schools do the same thing.

Even here at the kids' school, who is not caught up in ranking or in the rat race for awards. They discourage kids from changing after school activities because they want to encourage children to have perseverance and not to give up on something easily.

For his friends... I know they must miss him a lot. The friend who accompanied him home was the last friend to have seen him. I believe he must be very affected by this. The friend whom he texted would be similarly affected.

For Tan Wen Yi himself, he had a bright future ahead of him. He's from a wealthy background (assumed, because of the Stevens Road condo he lived in), from a top school, talented in track and field (medal-winner), with strong interest in drama (which can well be cultivated further into great things), with friends who like his company and jokes, with a family who loves him, with a CCA teacher who sees a lot of potential in him....

I guess what we should learn is to always look on the bright side of things, even if life seems "meaningless" and bleak (as what he told his friend) and everything looks like it's the end. Whatever it is, God will provide a way through it all (1 Cor 10:13).

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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