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Tyler Lang: Turning Towards

August 27, 2015

August 26th at 7:00PM

Two weeks ago, at about this same time in the evening, I received a text message that caused me intense pain and grief. My sweet student Tyler had taken his life. He had just turned 14.

Tyler was special to me.

My first gut-wrenching thought was: “Not that one God. I can’t lose that one.”

The text sent me into an immediate panic, sobbing and gripping my husband in fear. Then within a few hours, I was in denial; desperate for it not to be true. The next morning began with fearful denial but after several confirmations, the grief started. My heart had been slashed open and I was bleeding. I have been bleeding for two weeks, but a few days ago, the tears began to slow and a new emotion has come over me: acceptance.

Acceptance of the death of a child is a strangely dark place to be.

I have accepted that while God is supposed to be benevolent, he stood by and let Tyler suffer through depression and allowed this horrible outcome. I have accepted that while this will never, ever be ok, life is indeed going on. And I have accepted that a piece of myself has gone with Tyler.

The world is absolutely full of dark and horrible things, things that just don’t make any sense. Life is really, really hard. I am currently mad at God about this. I have accepted that I may be mad at Him for a very long time and that is ok. My reality includes this anger, this hole where Tyler was, and this terrible wound in my heart.

If you look through the archives of this Blog, you will see lots of entries about Linnea Lomax. She also took her life. I have a scar for her etched deep in my soul.

Linnea 2

But part of my grief for Linnea is that I kept expecting God to answer my anger and tell me why he took this beautiful girl from her loving parents in the prime of her life.


There are always the “Why’s” and the “We should haves” and the “I wishes” when a sweet, young child dies. With suicide, I feel like this is compounded with even more confusion and guilt.

Suicide sucks.

God has not given me an answer to the “why” for Linnea even though I have spent three years asking.

There is no way to put a bow on this and frankly, I can’t even try. The death of Tyler; the death of Linnea; these things will never be ok. Nothing anyone can say will make the death of these beautiful children make sense. God was chosen not to give us an easy answer to the age old question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and the cruelty of being left in the dark on the “Why?” is another blow to an already beaten soul. The reality though is these things happen and they happen often. I accept that.

In a way, acceptance feels depressing, like being aware that the black and white of the world have meshed together and everything is grey.

But acceptance has also given me a moment to see that there is really no reason I can discern for all the pain, there is also no reason why my children and I were gifted with a beautiful evening at the beach. The water was clear and warm and the sand glistened like gold. The water, the same water that Tyler loved to surf in, was filled with laughing and smiling children.

I have been given many beautiful moments in life.



The world is incomprehensibly painful and equally incomprehensibly beautiful. My favorite Blogger Glennon Melton at calls it “Brutiful.”

This life is brutiful. That’s about as good a description as anyone can give.

I am not depressed, but I am aware that dark times will continue to come. Bright, joyful times will come too.

That’s life.

I heard from a wise friend the term: “Turn towards”.

Life is horribly painful and ecstatically joyful. While I would like to leave the pain behind and live a life of joy, I cannot because there is no joy without the pain. There is no day without the night. There is no summer without the winter. Cycles….the world is full of these cycles and so are our hearts.

Therefore, all that is left is to turn towards. Turn towards the pain. Turn towards the joy. Accept that this life will hurt and you should still live it because of the sun and hugs and sweet moments that come out of the darkness. You will cry but I promise you that if you stick it out and turn towards, you will also laugh.

Turn towards life.

PS: I am not in the joy yet. I am still grieving, but I have hope that the darkness in the loss of Tyler will give way to the light eventually. But if you are clinically depressed, that hope may not exist for you and if that is you, please tell someone because when your brain is telling you that it will not get better, your brain is misfiring. There is something wrong and there are treatments for depression. If your brain tells you that you should die, it is not functioning right. Your brain should be trying to keep you alive; that’s its job. If your brain is not doing its job, let’s get that fixed.

Help is out there:

Need help? United States:
1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish


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  1. Hollie Prussack permalink

    Amy, Thank you for your words of truth, beauty, and comfort. Thank you for being a mouthpiece for those of us who can’t quite find the right words to match their feelings. You matched my feelings about Tyler and where I am presently sitting in all of this perfectly. Thank you my special friend.

  2. Blacksheep permalink

    I was one of Tyler’s good friends and I wish that I knew about how he was feeling I was depressed when I about him loss, he was a great friend he was nice and cool and I will always remember him

  3. Dearest Amy, Somehow I stumbled upon these beautiful sentiments. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I hope to see you soon!! xxxooo

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