During three different times there were three different 14 year old girls. They all had one commonality: death intoxicated their minds.
We will call the first girl Maria. She came from a broken home in a broken neighborhood where the sidewalks were as cracked as the people. She grew up too fast; took leaps when she should had been learning to crawl. At 14 she had half a million emotions coursing through her on any given day and many were just due to the changes her body was making.
Sometimes though, the emotions combined with her life decisions were too much. So she did what teenagers do when they cry for help without even opening their mouths. And the right adult noticed. Because let's face it, 14 is a hard age and depression is more common than it should be.
Maria said that she often thought of killing herself. That she couldn't see beyond the next four years. That nothing was ever going to get better. She had already lived and been through so much she didn't want life anymore.
It was concerning to say the least when such a young person had such dark thoughts. She was healthy. She was completely normal. Her life had just begun. That's why her mother had Maria go to a therapist.
Someone had to teach the girl that her life was only beginning at 14.
Maria would grow up and be thankful that someone taught her life was worth living.
Magdalena was the second girl. She was born with a disease that never allowed her a chance to walk. By the age of two she had a feeding tube and by the age of ten her arms were pretty useless. Her legs were an electric wheelchair and one of her best friends was a machine that helped her breathe at night.
Magdalena was hungry for life. Despite her craptastic body she was going to grow up and taste the bittersweet nectars of adulthood.
When she was 14 she had a bad hospitalization. She had had many up until that point. But this one was different. This one had nothing to do with her disease. It was two months of debilitating, vomit inducing pain. More than anything she wanted to die because life had never prepared her for such intense physical pain.
She didn't want to tell anyone. If she was going to die it was going to be a private affair.
Magdalena didn't die though because her mother wasn't going to have it. She knew that Magdalena had more to offer and experience despite how her daughter felt and what the doctors predicted.
Magdalena's mother was correct. Magdalena would grow up to be forever grateful she had a mother that saw the value of her daughter being in this world.
The last 14 year old girl I won't say her name because many of you already know it. But for all intents and purposes we will call her Sarah.
Sarah was born with the same disease as Magdalena. Sarah could only move a few fingers and her head just like Magdalena. Sarah required a vent to sleep at night just like Magdalena. Sarah never had many friends just like Magdalena. Sarah was wise beyond years the same way Magdalena was. The only difference between the two 14 year old girls was Sarah was supposedly in pain every single day and Magdalena wasn't.
So Sarah decided she was done with life. She just couldn't do it anymore. She announced her decision to the media, she had a dance where everything was donated and the whole town came, she raised an astronomical amount of money (no one knows exactly what the money was for), then she went to hospice and died.
Her suicide was lauded as "heroic" and "brave" when Maria's suicide would have been seen as "tragic." Why is that? We could talk about the ethics of this all day and honestly only Sarah and her mother know all of the details but please don't try to argue the fact that some lives are not perceived to be worth more than others because media tells us otherwise.
They were all just 14 year old girls.
(By the way, due to horrible reporting, now when people look up Magdalena's disease she has to work even harder to make them understand that she's not a hero for living just because of how Sarah's life was portrayed.)
At 24, if I decided I wanted to die tomorrow and you think you care about me and you wouldn't tell me to fight then you are part of the problem.