Things they don’t teach in school . . .
Her parents heard choking from behind the closed door. They tried to open it but something held it closed. The stepfather put his weight into it but it barely budged. Some commotion behind the door, then deadly quiet. He kicked the door in.
His stepdaughter, two months pregnant and seventeen years old had tied one end of a stocking around her neck, stretched the other end over the corner of the door then tied the other end to the doorknob. Then she let her body weight go.
The force of the door being kicked pushed her in, and freed the stocking from the top of the door. She was lying on the ground when we arrived, crying. Never have I heard such mournful, desperate sounds. Her body shook, the depths of despair so intense she appeared to be having a seizure.
Red marks on her neck, choking, eyes filled with tears, despondent and alone, in a room full of strangers. And her parents, who stood by, shocked and afraid as we carried their daughter and future grandchild down the stairs and into the ambulance.
We are invited into the most private, heartbreaking and painful moments in a family’s history; not simply brief flashes of time quickly forgotten, but indelible memories that will haunt them for a lifetime.
Be respectful, be kind, be competent, and be worthy.