I have learned that young people often express themselves in ways that adults cannot understand. Alex was similar to me in that he was a very sensitive soul with great compassion for others. I take comfort in the knowledge that heaven is home where we all go to when our bodies cease to exist. Some of us go earlier than others such as those who cannot take the pain that our world inflicts. I believe that Heaven is the home for our souls and that life here on earth is where we receive experiences so our souls can grow spiritually.
The day that Alex took his own life, he painted a portrait alongside his younger sister, Emily. He painted grasslands which was surrounded by a starry sky. Alex’s sister and dad thought nothing of it. However, when they left, Alex continued to paint. He drew a road along the grass that disappeared into the night sky. Alex evidently wanted to leave this planet, however we believe that his soul is still alive and is able to communicate with us if we are open and willing to. Once something is created, it can never be destroyed. Alex was an eighteen year old boy with so much love and understanding resting within him.
It is my personal belief that Alex left this painting as a less painful reminder than a suicide note. Rather than telling his parents how unhappy he was, he drew something for his parents to find peace in. The highway to the stars depicts a young man who was desperate to find the comfort and happiness that he couldn’t find in our world. Suicide is a means of escape from the great trauma that a person is going through. I am not romanticizing suicide by any means; taking your own life is not the solution.
Alex could not see a light at the end of the darkness, all he saw was constant pain. He took his own life because he could not handle the horrific conflict in his mind. He saw heaven to be a place where pain was non-existent and happiness was endless. If he had stayed alive, he would have seen that beautiful things still exist; for heaven may be beautiful, but life is a gift. Alex left his final words in the form of a painting that depicts his path to heaven; a painting that his family found haunting. He was a young man with a bright future, however the pain inside of him took control; it took his life.
This message is to anybody contemplating suicide, “suicide does not end the pain; it simply passes it on to other people”. You are loved. You deserve to be alive, for life is a gift granted to you by a greater power. Alex lived for just eighteen years, however, his spirit still resides here. Let his story give you strength. Life is not easy, but it is beautiful. Nobody lives forever, but we are here for a reason. Stay, you are important.