Parenting

What Do We Do About This One?

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I can’t get this out of my mind. I can’t fathom the depth of this little girl’s pain. I don’t know what to do about this one.

I don’t know what to do about this...

As a mother of three, I hurt when any parent has to watch their child suffer. You would think, I had thought, that there is nothing worse than hearing, “Your child has cancer.” But, there is more. This story popped up on my Facebook feed, because I have loved ones who have lost their children, because my son struggles with medical issues, because I am a parent, because I am a human. It is almost too much to hear.

But I cannot look away. I have a responsibility. And part of that responsibility is to share this story and hope and pray that when others read it, they will talk to their children TONIGHT.

Bethany Thompson had brain cancer at age 3. She underwent the hell that one has to go through. But she didn’t die of brain cancer. She died as the victim of bullying. She went home after school, after being made fun of because of how the treatment for her brain cancer made her mouth look, she went home and she shot herself. She was 11. This is her story.

I don’t have a solution. But I do believe it is my responsibility as a parent to talk to my boys about this little girl, tonight. They need to know. They have heard me tell them what it was like when I was made fun of as a little girl. How I had to wear a patch over my good eye to force my legally blind bad eye to work. How the kids called me Patch the Pony, how by age 9, I, too, wanted to die.

My boys know I care more about how they treat others than what grades they bring home. That I care more about what they do for the kid that is being made fun of then where they go to college.

We might not be able to cure cancer in our homes, but we have the power to model, to talk and to integrate the zero tolerance policy within our homes and on the playgrounds. This was a preventable death.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.