For Jeret

Perhaps you’ve seen this.

I went to high school with Jeret. We weren’t, by any means, close. But we were friendly and had friends in common. In junior high we were in band together. From my vague memories I remember him being a jokester. But my brightest memory of Jeret was maybe 9th or 11th grade. My best friend lived across the street from our school. She had a pool and a trampoline so, obviously, it was a pretty popular gathering spot after school. We were over there one afternoon and I think at the time it was just me & Jeret, though there could have been other people and I’m just blocking it out. He had broken his arm a couple of years earlier and was showing me how his elbow sort of popped in and out since he’d never had it reset. His eyes twinkled when he laughed and I left Jessica’s house that day nursing a huge crush on him.

I watched in the Olympics and I cheered for him when he jumped and felt like he was robbed when he didn’t place in 2006. I jumped up and down in 2010 when he landed his jump and got his medal.

And yesterday, when my mom told me that he’d taken his own life I jumped to the internet hoping that it was some sort of sick joke. I was shocked when I realized that it wasn’t. I didn’t know him in the past 10 years, but like a lot of people in our home town, I did follow him. I was friends with him on facebook and I read articles about him when they came out and by all those accounts he seemed to be content in his life. But, of course, it’s hard to tell how good or bad things are based on a couple of status updates.

I hope that Jeret’s last thoughts were of peace and not regret. I hope that his suicide can be a learning moment about depression for a new generation of kids.

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