On April 25, 2018 I experienced every parent's worst nightmare.
After having been bullied my 11-year old-son died by suicide. There were no warning signs. I am worst-case scenario.
I later learned that Shane was being bullied simply because he loved Broadway Theater. I had no idea Shane was being bullied. Perhaps he kept this a secret because he was too embarrassed, too proud, or too frightened to speak up. We will never know. For the rest of my life, I will be haunted wondering what I could have missed, how I didn’t know that he was in such pain and how I could have saved my son’s life.
Shortly after Shane’s death something happened that had a profound impact on the direction my life would take. I received a message from a woman named Missy Anne who happened to live nearby. She asked if she could leave something for me in my mailbox. She told me that her son Luke was also being bullied. Thankfully, she was aware of what had been happening and was actively involved in advocating for him.
The day she dropped off the book she had Luke with her. When she placed the book in my mailbox Luke said, “Mom. A really nice boy lives here. He's the only one who is nice to me and every day he gives me a high-five on the bus!"
He was talking about Shane.
This story made me realize that a single act of kindness - even something as simple as a high-five, can have an invaluable impact on someone's life - and perhaps even save one.
I can’t help but wonder that had someone had given Shane a high-five or said/done something nice to him that day in April 2018, perhaps he would still be here.
With me. With us.
When I speak at schools, I tell students this story because it's important to know that kindness need not be complicated or forced. You never know what someone is going through.
A simple high-five can save a life.
Shane's Imagine- Nation is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit organization.
kind is the new cool.