Bewildered and Bereaved

This is not an easy post to write or a simple story to tell.  Derek’s cousin’s teenage son has died, apparently from a self-inflicted shot with his Dad’s shotgun.  Charlie was 16. 

The family live in Kent, England and we visited them 5 years ago when Charlie was 11.  A likable, super-smart kid, Charlie was by all accounts a likable, smart and athletic teen. The British media have grabbed onto the story, churning a family tragedy into public entertainment moreso than would happen on this side of the pond. British tabloids are mostly gossip rags disguised as legitimate newspapers.  This is why there are so many lawsuits over stories there.  But another cousin tells us she believes the feeding frenzy is likely coming to an end.

The papers dug up Charlie’s final tweets that mentioned anger and angst that, actually, read as fairly mild.  He didn’t leave a note and his parents found him.  They and Charlie’s sister Harriet haven’t been back to the house since.

There are no words to convey how sorry we are and how we know their lives are all changed forever.  Was it an accident? Did he mean to do it? Does a 16-year-old even understand the finality of what he’s about to do? Why does it seem that so many teens take their own lives before they have even begun to really live? I don’t know the answers but we are heartsick for our extended family over the pond. I looked through our trip photos and there’s young Charlie, grinning his toothy grin into the camera.  It’s such a waste of so much promise in a young lad loved by so many.

1 thought on “Bewildered and Bereaved”

  1. A truly unbearable and sad time for our cousins. I can’t even imagine what they must be feeling and going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

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