The Crescenta Valley community has stepped cautiously on a path of healing in the wake of the suicide at CV High School on Feb. 10, but the path that moves us forward will have detours that cause us to look back.
The question that is uppermost in all of our minds is “Why?” Bits of information continue to be released, offering insight for some, confusion for others. The sad reality is that we will never know exactly why he did what he did and if indeed there was something more or different that anyone could have done to prevent this tragedy.
As many of you who read my column know, in my younger years through young adulthood, I had self-destructive tendencies. If I got mad at someone, for example, I’d hurt myself instead of going after them. I can’t tell you why – it’s just the way I was made. Growing up in a less than idyllic household – as most everyone does – my parents were unaware of the hurtful things I’d do. I think it’s safe to say that both my parents died not knowing what I had done when I was younger.
Speaking from this perspective and knowing that so many in the community want to do something, take some action to help prevent future devastation, I would like to offer a small bit of advice that I wish someone would have shared with me: You will feel differently tomorrow.
Earth shaking revelation? Hardly. I know that. But when you are in the depth of despair, you think that you will always feel awful, that it will never change. It’s hard to think beyond that darkness. Now that so many years and so much time has passed, I’ve come to realize that those few words – you will feel differently tomorrow – hold out so much hope because of their truth. You might not necessarily feel better tomorrow, but you’ll feel differently. And the day after that you’ll feel differently, because life keeps moving forward.
For our young people, this information can be crucial. While most are still under the direction of their parents – and may not like it – the fact is that in time they will be commanding their own lives and the direction those lives will take. There’s no harm in reminding them of this – in a loving manner, not a screaming, “I can’t wait until you’re out of here” kind of way – because it also reminds us as parents that days of frustration will end (though more than likely will be replaced with some other type of worry).
Another thought I would like to share. The events of Feb. 10 have touched most everyone in the community, regardless whether or not we knew the Ferraro family. We have identified as parents, as fellow students, as brothers and sisters, as teachers and administrators. However, while this has impacted us all, we do not all react the same.
Again, not an earth shaking revelation but perhaps some need to be reminded.
I’ve heard of parents who are questioning their kids as to why they’re so upset – did they even know Drew? That’s not the point. The point is that we need to give each other the space and time to work our way through our grief. We all have to be patient – with each other and with ourselves – as we go through this process. We don’t know how we’re going to feel from day to day and undoubtedly many of us will be surprised when blindsided by emotions that we were not expecting.
Finally, little bits of hope are sprouting up. The Teens Move event at the high school was hugely successful. The campus quad was crowded with students checking into the opportunities that await them. And the robotics dinner that the CVHS Falkon robotics team hosted on Friday night for Clark, St. Francis and La Cañada high schools was a night filled with dance and laughter. (We’ll be having detailed stories in next week’s paper.)
Fundraisers are being planned, resources are being made available and Crescenta Valley will move forward – maybe not in the same way, not at the same rate, but we will – together.