I was a choral music teacher who experienced grief over the years when more than one student took their own life with a gun. It left holes in my heart, and I wish that they had asked for help. I wish I’d have asked, maybe been able to do something.
One boy in high school drank alcohol the night before a music contest and was suspended, not allowed to attend. He felt he let down his band members and the male teacher he respected and from whom he learned. He was also my son’s classmate. He shot himself at home at the exact time the band performed at the contest without him. Another was a young, talented student I taught in elementary grades. We learned a song one day that was something about family. As he left my classroom crying, I reached out. He said “My Mom said she was going to come get me for the weekend. I know she won’t. She never does.” I felt his sadness. Years later, when in high school, he put a gun to his head. I know his parents and his little brother. Like most people in our country, gun deaths have reached nearly everyone on some personal level. Sadly, it happens every day.