If you were to visit my town you might see on the back of some of the cars and trucks window stickers. This is normal. Lots of small towns are proud of their high school sports teams and parents will put their kids jersey numbers and name on their windows to show support for their kid.
If you hang around here long enough, and spend your time checking out window stickers you will notice two stickers show up more than others. Each sticker is a reference to a different boy. Each boy was popular. Each boy was on the football team. Each boy had everything going for him. They had something else in common. Each boy killed himself. The window stickers are "remembrance stickers".
The first boy, we'll call him "G", offed himself about 10 years ago. The second boy, we'll call him "T", did the same about 6 years ago. I don't know much about "G". I do know a bit about "T". "T" was a football star. He had a choice of scholarships one to play at U of W. Granted not a Big 10 school, but still pretty good going into his senior year. Maybe he would have gotten a better school at the end of the season. He also had an appointment to West Point. His parents own a successful business in our town. They have money.
If "T" left a note, I don't know about it. I do know, on a passing basis his sister. She is an attractive girl. "T" was a good looking kid too. It's fair to say that the whole family are what you might call "the beautiful people". Money, good looks, youth, a promising educational career, and a leg up on life, it wasn't enough.
I was teaching the teens at the time and one day the kids came to class despondent over "T". So we talked about it. I told the kids that "T" didn't matter. I told them he was a selfish fool. People who hurt other people like he did are fools. He didn't matter because he quit trying. Checking out is cowardly.
I don't think my counsel was what they were expecting. I know its not what they were getting from the professionals at school. I also told them that 5, 10 or 15 years from now no one would remember "T" because he decided that he didn't matter.
That proved untrue. I still remember. Yesterday I was behind a truck with "G's" sticker on it. The truck was old, like mine. I reflected on the fact that soon that truck would be traded in on a newer one. We wouldn't be seeing his sticker around much longer. Most of the window stickers are gone now, the beautiful people can afford new cars a little more frequently than the norm.
The kids in my class have moved on. Most of them have graduated by now. Several are more than have done with college. Life has moved on. "T's" sister is married and moved out of state, her and her husband are living their dream. "T" would have finished his college football career. I don't know if he was good enough to go pro. We'll never know that. Maybe he would have went to West Point. He'd be a brand new butter bars now. We don't know if that would have worked out either.
He might have married the girl he took to prom, but he didn't go. He might have had a case full of trophies or a chest covered in medals. He might have. He might have tried.