It's very strange how I feel -- I didn't know the boy. I have seen him at the pool, but I didn't know the family personally. But I feel so, I don't know, strange about it. We tried to talk to Ryan and he looked so confused. He paled and said "what do you mean? he used a rope around his neck?" the confusion in his eyes and fear. It was a very odd look on his face. He looked like he was going to be sick. Very difficult conversation. And very very scary. Ryan is the kind of kid who doesn't think things through. He's a curious boy. Wants to know how things work...what would happen if... that kind of boy. It scares me. When I was little my brother was playing with his friends and almost hung himself. They were pretending that he was a prisoner and things didn't go the way they had planned and he could have died. This could easily happen to anyone. Boys are boys and at 12 they are clueless and adventurous and terrible things can happen. Easter was nice - we had fun and there was a lot of laughing and fun - but I felt guilty about having my family around. I didn't want to say Happy Easter and be all smiles because I felt like it was disrespectful in some way. Very hard weekend. Tomorrow is the viewing and Wednesday is the funeral. I think it's hard for children to accept that a child can die. I remember when a boy Jason had been in boy scouts with died suddenly the day after Thanksgiving 2007. The boys father had been Jason's boy scout leader. Jason and I went to the viewing and I honestly thought Jason was going to pass out when he saw the boy. I was kneeling at the coffin saying a prayer and Jason leaned over and whispered in my ear..."Mom! You need to get me out of here!" I felt so badly for him. This had been his friend and now he was seeing him dead. They live in our neighborhood, belong to the same swim club we do, and shop at the same grocery store that we do. I see the mom all the time and she can't look at me. We will make eye contact and she will immediately turn away. I understand. I have my son. She can't look at me without thinking about that. But, it's sad to know that I am the person who is causing such pain for a mother. It makes me feel terrible. I saw her a few days ago and it was as it always is, but this time when she turned away I said hi. I will never do that again. She turned back and smiled and said hi but there was a look in her eyes that just ripped my heart out. I will never make that mistake again. I didn't mean to cause more pain and that is exactly what I did. I felt heartless and selfish and a million other emotions.
I'm not taking Ryan to the viewing or the funeral. Jason was 15 and it upset him - I don't want to do that to Ryan. He's still very innocent in so many ways. I really don't think he fully understands even after our talk. I think it's just too big for him to take in. I think tomorrow is going to be a very long hard day for Ryan and the other kids in his class. And the poor teachers. Molly is in school with the boys brother (it's just the two boys). She and her friends have been talking about it all weekend. It's just so sad, and the brothers facebook rips your heart out. The photos of his little brother all smiles and goofing off with him ... such a sad sad thing. That poor boy and his mother. I really don't know how you can find the strength to get out of bed after something so devastating.