Dear Dr. Laura,
I called you last week as one of my 14-year-old daughter's close friends had told my daughter she was having suicidal thoughts. You told me to drive straight over to the friend's house to tell the parents. As soon as I hung up from you, I contacted the mother to see if they were home so we could come by. This mother told me her daughter was very upset due to the death of a friend. After a little investigating, we confirmed a mutual friend and basketball teammate of our daughters' had committed suicide that morning (she shot herself with her stepfather's gun on her parents' bed). I immediately told the mother about her own daughter's suicidal comments as I felt there was an urgency to the matter since all of our kids were about to be dealing with the death of their friend.
Immediately after this suicide, kids and parents began comparing notes and searching for answers as this girl was bubbly, funny and seemingly happy, not at all a girl likely to kill herself by outward appearances. However, she did give clues such as giving away her possessions, a quote on her Instagram account saying how she wants to be remembered and a text message to a friend indicating she was done with life.
This is the second suicide in a month in our relatively small community.
We are heartbroken that we, as a community, missed the signs that could have potentially saved our sweet friend's life. In addition, if there are guns in your house, keep them locked up and hide the key!
Thanks for all you do.
Sincerely and with such a heavy heart,