This is going to be a tough one. Yesterday afternoon I saw a headline about a twelve-year-old girl from Queens who killed herself. I want to say up front that this just happened, and so information that’s being reported may be incomplete, but I need to write about this.
She was twelve. She was just a baby. Anybody who think that suicide isn’t an epidemic, a problem that’s not going away, needs to look at that little girl’s face and think about the brain and soul behind that face being so distraught, so scared, that at the age of twelve she thought her life was not worth living. Think about where you were when you were twelve. How little you knew about the big picture things, and how huge all of your problems seemed.
There are some reports that Gabrielle was self-harming. There are reports that she was bullied at school, and that she left behind a note saying that was why she did what she did. Her father was quoted as saying that he tried to help her. The school denies the bullying. I cannot and will not speak to those reported facts, because it is, as I said, such early days. What I will say, though, is that somehow, some way, this little child reached a point of despair that I cannot imagine.
How much potential did Gabrielle carry within her? How much love? How many people will be irrevocably changed by what she did? Even now, the ripples of her untimely death are spreading through her family, her community, the whole world. We are poorer today because she is gone. We are poorer.
Her name was Gabrielle Molina. She was twelve years old.