Our friends loss of their 15 yr old son
This is a post about a 15 year old boy named Corey who I never had the pleasure to meet until his untimely death.
Corey is the step son of our very good friend Jeff and his beautiful mom Bev.
They live in a small community 2 and a half hours away. We had not been to their home before this tradgedy because our friends were care givers of Bevs ill mom and in a small home unable to handle overnight guests. We respected their wishes and enjoyed visits with Bev and Jeff at our home and other grown up friend gatherings. Hence the reason we never met their kids 21,15,14.
Jeff was an usher at our wedding and a longtime childhood friend of my husbands.Jeff is amazing with kids and he treated Bevs boys like his own and has been a strong influence in their lives near 11 years. He had lived with us for a short time while working here and commuted home to Bev and the kids on the weekends. Bev is an extrondinary mother who coached all her boys in soccer, attended all their hockey games and had countless school meetings regarding her childrens education and most recently her concerns regarding Coreys safety in school.
Corey along with a few other boys got caught breaking the law, some minor offence and he chose to plead guilty and take his punishment, just wanting to put it behind him and move on with his life. The other boys plead not guilty and took Coreys admission as a rat/turncoat move and proceeded to bully Corey at every given opportunity. He was beat up, threatened, forced off the school bus and in constant fear for his well being. He took time off school, got himself in trouble just to be asked to leave, he tried and did whatever he could to not be around those boys. His mom intervened and demanded something be done in so far as even having the police come to the school. The school suggested Corey just avoid the boys, if they were at one side of the school he should go to the other..etc. Bev tried to have him moved to another school, but they needed him to complete 3 more credits in his school before they would okay a transfer. He was willing to do that but alas the bullying continued. His mom could see the changes in Corey, not wanting to do nothing, sleep all day. She told me she had warned the school about Coreys behaviour and had voiced her concern about him possibly committing suicide if the bullying continued. She tried to get her son to see a doctor but he was unwilling.
Corey spent the weekend hanging around the house and visiting his good friends, pretty much a normal weekend except that it was to be his last.
On Mon. Corey had sent a facebook entry to a young girl thanking her for her kindness. In a text message to his bestfriend he replied to his question "are you going home now" Corey sent him the reply " no Im going to a better place". He then walked a very long way into the woods behind his home and hung himself. A neighbor on an atv found him laying down in the woods (a small comfort to his parents) the nxt day.
The community church was filled to capacity. We met Corey thru his friends and family that day. The minister spoke of the bullying and Coreys suicide trying to reach out to the many young people there. We watched our friend carry Coreys casket to the awaiting hurst eyes so swollen and shoulders heaving when he cried .Bev looking like she lost 20 pounds on her already small frame, sobbing uncontrollably. She came direct into my arms, holding on for dear life, I struggled to find the words I should know all too well and I hugged her tighter.
We went bck to their little house and we met Coreys brothers and Bevs ill mom. The small home over flowed with flowers and food from their little town. She showed me his pictures and told me his story of his very short life. They plan to bring those flowers to his last place on earth, she didnt think she was going to be able to but on Mon on the first anniversay week of his death, she is going to try. She told me she had asked her sister to look to see if we were in the church. Jeff told her I knew what a suicide really means and she seemed to need to have me there. I was overwhelmed when I heard. Several of us standing in their garage because the house was full,and to everyones astonishment including my own she walked straight into my arms crying. I held her, I told her to take deep breathes,I told her it wasnt her fault, I prayed she understood.
It was near time to go. Bevs oldest son was planning on going to his hockey game. It was the finals, he didnt have to go but thats what he wanted. Im sure it was a much needed break from the days events. He and his younger brother have so many questions about their brothers death Bev told me. I told her to just be honest. I asked Bev. what she was going to do...she thought about it for a minute and decided to go support her son in his game. Jeff and Bev changed their clothes and headed out the door in support of their son.
After the dust settles, the media will converge on this town, school and family. It is everyones hope that Coreys death not be in vain. Every student deserves the right to feel safe getting an education. The system failed Corey and his family, and after Bevs last coversation with the principal and teachers at Coreys school, it left them all in tears. They know on a personal level their failure of one young boy , and now this family is left to mourn the loss. Thru tears Bev told me that Corey would of been 16 in July.....I cant imagine a more tragic loss...