"Put Out My Hand And Touch The Face Of God"

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth--
Put out my hand and touched the Face of God"

                                                 --John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

The names below were/are of precious souls beloved and needed by their family & friends, but who, sadly, eventually came to believe that the only relief from the pain & fear in their young lives was the finality of death.

I cannot begin know the pain the families of these young people must be enduring right now.   Though my path was different from theirs in the end, as a closet survivor, I know the hell these angels had to endure day-to-day, and I know how soul-destroying constant hopelessness can be.  I saw very little joy in life back then, when I was their age, and I felt very little connection with the world around me.  I never knew these young men, of course, but I imagine they felt like strangers on Earth, too.

These names are part of an undoubtedly much longer list of GLBT youth who felt too different and too tired to keep fighting a world that saw them as inherently & irredeemably defective, and who could find no peace in the land of the living.

I pray for them, and for all those whose names we may never know, but who, like the young people listed below, could find nothing in their lives to keep them here with us, to anchor them during the storms of their lives, and who could see no hope past the blinding pain of their tormented existence.   I also pray for those who love them, left with a gaping hole in their hearts that will never completely heal, that they come to remember not just how their loved ones saw no other way to shuffle off this mortal coil, but the eternal beauty of their too-short lives. 

May God Bless Them All!

Justin Aaberg
Anoka, Minnesota
15 years old
Hanged himself in his bedroom

Asher Brown
Houston, Texas
13 years old
Shot himself in the head

Tyler Clementi
Ridgewood, New Jersey
18 years old
Killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River

Billy Lucas
Greensburg, Indiana
15 years old
Hanged himself in his family's barn

Zach Harrington
19 years old
Norman, Oklahoma
Killed himself at home.

Seth Walsh
Tehachapi, California
13 years old
Hanged himself from a tree in his back yard.
MisterC MisterC
46-50, M
4 Responses Oct 26, 2010

Sandy,<br />
<br />
I don't know how I missed your wonderful comment on this post, but I want to thank you (AS ALWAYS) for being sweet, wonderful, loving YOU!<br />
<br />
That your daughter is such a supportive friend comes as no surprise to me! After all, she is her mother's daughter! :-)<br />
<br />
God Bless You Always, Dearest Friend,<br />
<br />
"George" (a.k.a. Clarence):-)

Myopiaplus, thank you for your comments!<br />
<br />
I DO wish that people who think the way you used to, WOULD read things like this, and would allow God's grace to open their eyes & their hearts to the harm that an ostensibly life-affirming, loving & welcoming faith has done to so many kids (and adults) who sought nothing more than to be understood & loved & valued as precious children of God (to quote the song in the video).<br />
<br />
Too often, people like these young men--people like me--are seen as nothing more than deviant, dangerous threats. When some people hear or say the word "homosexual", it is the "SEX" part that they seem to be obsessed with, as if all we seek is do is to indulge in our dark, prurient desires. They cannot or WILL NOT entertain the thought that this Good Fight we are fighting, and which we will ALWAYS fight, isn't about the right to--PLEASE PARDON THE INDELICATE PHRASING--engage our genitals, but to engage and be true to our hearts: the very hearts God gave us, and with which He entreats us to love one another as He has loved us.

Heartbreaking. I hope these tragic events raise consciousness, so that some good can come out of it.

I can only hope the situation gets better. For what it's worth, some young people are very supportive of their gay friends & outraged by the way society treats them. My daughter is one of them. Hopefully, there are more like her who will keep speaking out and it will change.