For each of us, in different ways, there are those moments that stop us. The good day stops. It just does. My day was penetrated with bad news shortly after work began. One of my dearest friends and her family is struggling with the health of one of her family members. I am intentionally vague to protect their privacy, but I just felt so lost. I couldn’t help. My love and appreciation for her is akin to family. She knows some of my biggest secrets and pains I’ve experienced in the last year. I wish I could be there for her more than I can right now.

My day began more stressful when I was given the news we’ve lost another veteran student to suicide. Trying to concentrate all day in light of this news was challenging. The loss of this veteran brought the pain of losing Kiernan back to the surface, more than his memory already seeps into my day at Tempe. This person left behind a family and friends who will forever be changed by their loss.

I tried listening to music today to focus on my work but there are little things from time to time about my work that bring up the worst of my deployment. Being confronted with the death of a student is the worst, as it would naturally be for anyone in my office and for all of our ASU community. But for me, it’s returning to my first deployment and being confronting with nothing by the deaths and injuries accumulating over twelve hour shifts and in the same moment, I must step out of that mode to deal with other student concerns. And now, it’s that knife that digs at the fresh wound of losing Kiernan back in November.  I cannot fully express what it’s like other than really sad.

While I wouldn’t say I was happy to leave work this evening, I was very relieved when my work day was over. Shortly before leaving, I tried listening to music to find some peace but one of the lines in Halsey’s “Colors” ruined my peace seeking:

I hope you make it to the day you’re 28 years old

I wish more people realized they do not need to carry their pain alone.

No one wants to lose a loved one to suicide.  To those loved ones, I am truly sorry for your loss and unfortunately, I equally understand your pain.




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