Over the last few days, our community suffered the loss of two of its children: lost his battle with cancer, and Bobby Mansueto, a 2011 Coronado High School graduate, committed suicide.
Both losses are tragic because two very young lives were cut short and taken much too soon.
In the case of 20-year-old Bobby Mansueto, the natural and bewildering question on most of our minds is why. Why did a young man with his
entire life ahead of him feel such despair that suicide was the only solution
to his agony?
We may never know the answer to this question. The only thing some of us can do is to pray and support the Mansueto family during this difficult time.
However, at times like these some people choose to look for a lesson, for something to impart on children that will hopefully avoid this awful thing from happening to another youngster.
According to the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10-24 nationally.” This is a sobering statistic, and in light of Bobby's recent and tragic death, it is one we can't ignore.
We have a wealth of resources and information available online to help families who may find themselves wondering where to begin to understand this recent tragedy. Below are just a few websites with useful information:
Locally, Coronado SAFE is here to help our youth cope with many teen-age afflictions: drug and alcohol abuse, youth intervention, family support, etc. Coronado is privileged to have this organization available to everyone who seeks out this help.
As Coronado observes a somber end to the school year, the moms at Parents Talk share their thoughts about Bobby Mansueto's death, and what they've done to try to communicate with their own children about what happened.
Tonia Accetta: Coronado is called “The Bubble” by some, but it turns out that our bubble struggles with the same issues as other
school districts, towns, cities and countries. This week when my son came home from school with the terrible news of a graduate's suicide, I was forced without warning into a very difficult conversation with my freshman.
A difficult conversation for me, as I have lost three friends to suicide, all boys and all with so much life still ahead of them and I don't know why. We will never know why.
I don't want to speculate as to the reason for this latest loss, I want to help prevent it from happening again. If you are reading this post and feel that you connect to this story, please ring the suicide prevention lifeline at (800) 273-8255. Let someone know the pain you are feeling.
I love conversations with my son looking towards a future of cars, jobs, schools and travel, but the tough conversations are important also. Have one with your son or daughter tonight.
This was tougher for me than I thought.
Tam Dorow: Every time I hear about the loss of a life to suicide I'm sad. Sad for the person, their family and friends; even or especially, the ex-boy friend or ex-girlfriend. The anguish a person must have suffered
through in the days and hours leading up to this event is unimaginable.
Whenever this topic comes up, such as when Junior Seau passed away, I say to my children that this is a sign of an illness because I believe human beings are designed to preserve life. Even in the most dire situations, human beings struggle to live. Think of all the atrocities in history and how people persevere and survive despite great adversities – prisoners of war and concentration camp survivors. To end your own life must take an illness of some sort. I don't know if there's anything anyone could have done to prevent these tragic losses.
Suzette Valle: In the days that followed the tragic news about Bobby Mansueto, it was with a sense of urgency that we talked about this
awful and sad way for a child to die. We also discussed how it is perhaps much more devastating for those left behind because there is no rational explanation to hang on to after a loved one has willingly left us. As we delved deeper into the topic of suicide, we talked about how it is probably easier to accept why someone has passed away if it was due to an illness or an accident. However, trying to grasp the sense of hopelessness that must overcome a person to choose to take their own life is something we had trouble putting into words – and still do.
We send our deepest condolences to the Mansueto family and to Bobby's friends. May he rest in peace.
Tonia Accetta is stay-at-home mom of a teenage boy and a preteen girl. She moved to Coronado in 2002 with her husband of 15 years.
Tam Dorow emigrated from Vietnam when she was 10. She worked at all of the Big 3 U.S. car companies and has been a stay-at-home mom of two for the last 10 years.
Suzette Valle is a 20-year Coronado resident who was recognized by Time Warner as one of the local “50 Best Moms” in 2006. She has appeared on the Dr. Phil Show and blogs at MamarazziKnowsBest.com.