The boy next door –

Hug your children daily. Let them know they are smart, kind and important. It’s critical to have an open dialog with your kids, no matter how uncomfortable it is for you. At a minimum, they need to be able to talk freely with an adult. It’s tough being a teenager and everyone has their own way of dealing with issues. We just need to be there to help guide them, no judging.

One week ago from today, a friend of my son took his own life…alone in the woods and shot himself. This could have been my son or your son. The high school had a vigil less than 24 hours later at the football stadium, led by the pastor from Nic’s church, all in loving memory of Nic and to help his fellow classmates and friends grieve.

Nic was outgoing, very smart, witty, a varsity basketball player, and homecoming king. Nic and my son had many classes together since their freshman year. This August is the start of their senior year. The teens told me that Nic was the last person anyone expected to kill himself…no behavioral issues or drug use anyone is aware of. Nic was clever at hiding his pain though. He was the boy next door.


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