My children attend Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado. Because they attend this school, our family immediately becomes a part of the amazing and loving Regis Jesuit Community. In the course of the past 4 years we have shared mostly joy but also great sadness within this extended family known as Regis Jesuit. Last Thursday one of my son's teammates took his own life. Words can not express the enormous grief the family and community is experiencing at this time. Dominick will be laid to rest on Monday. I share with you this event not to bring you sadness, but awareness. I challenge each of you reading this post to discuss and share the topic of suicide with your loved ones. Discuss life's challenges and obstacles and how we can help each other through the most difficult times. Make it well known to the ones you love that there is absolutely nothing they could do that would change your love for them, and no obstacle that can't be tackled. Please refer to the resources provided by our school. Copy them and share them with the ones you love.
Please pray for this family and all who loved this young man. Pray for the countless others who are affected by suicide and the devastating trail it leaves behind.
Rest in Peace Dom.
Encourage one another.
Live in harmony and peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
—2 Corinthians 13: 11-12
REFLECTIONS ON THE RECENT DEATH IN OUR COMMUNITY
Dear Parents and Guardians,
There can be no greater sorrow for a parent than to lose a
child—and, thank God, not many of you have had to
endure that experience. Few of us can even imagine
what it is like to suffer the loss of a child.
In ways large and small, the death of junior
Dominick Doyle has touched the entire community.
Some have been shaken to the core; others will
experience it less intensely—but all of us are
affected by this death.
For some of our students, this is the first experience
of the death of someone close to them. For others,
it is the first experience of the death of someone
their own age. In addition to the questions that
always confront us at such a time, the sudden
death of a young person unleashes a special
torrent of questions among his or her peers.
(Why didn’t I take the keys? Why didn’t I tell someone?
Why didn’t I reach out? Is there some sign I missed?)
And when the death is a suicide, the anger, guilt,
and confusion can be overwhelming. Those close
to the person have a special kind of loss to deal with.
But all sorts of feelings can also be unleashed in
young people not necessarily close to the person
who died, but who may already be struggling
with issues of depression, loneliness, breakups,
a relative’s death, etc.
Last Friday, when news of Dominick’s death
became known, the entire community of Regis Jesuit
came together in sorrow, support and prayer.
Some students simply sat side by side in the
hallway—silent at first, then crying, quietly talking,
praying and hugging. Some went to class, where
perhaps they were able to share their questions
and confusion. Some spoke to counselors, teachers or
coaches. The football team gathered in the field house
where they could remember their teammate, pray and
begin to wrestle with the impact of this sudden death.
Some parents came to school simply to be near their
children. Others came to pick them up, feeling that home
was the best place to be at that moment.
During mid-morning, rosaries were said in
both divisions. Shortly after noon
a memorial Mass was held in the Boys gymnasium.
Nearly a thousand students sat side-by-side on the
floor, with many parents and teachers on chairs
nearby. The holy silence of that room expressed
powerfully the reality of grief and love that no words
I write today to simply voice my awe and gratitude
to this community, and to affirm that all of us will
need to offer even more generously than usual the
precious gifts of presence and attention to our
children in the weeks and months ahead. During
school hours teachers, counselors, coaches and
school administrators can offer to parents those
extra sets of eyes and ears that are often able to
spot early signs of trouble. But they can never
replace the time and attention to their children that
parents can give. Honest conversation when the
time is right; extra hugs; family meals—such simple
gifts, but so important at a time like this.
Not many parents feel prepared to deal with
situations like this. Excuse the cliché, but it really
does take a village. You can be a great source
of support to one another. You can help each
other immensely by paying attention to each
other’s children. Ask questions. As you know,
some kids find it easier to talk to their friends’
parents than their own!