Lessons Learned From Ethan Boesch's Untimely Passing
By DAVE SCHABELL
Ethan Boesch, you’ve taught us some lessons this past week – difficult, costly, painful lessons. Lessons that might benefit all of us in the future. Lessons that might even save someone else’s life. We’ve learned just how much we do love each other, how much we do care about each other, and how our individual pain is truly shared by our entire school community. We have learned that at times like these, no Brossart student is more important, or more popular than another. We have learned that there is no class distinction when it comes to grief and anguish for one of our own. We are all in the suffering together. We all feel each other’s pain.
We’ve learned how very helpless we are in times like this, when we are unable to do something, anything. Helpless to take action that might change your mind, something that would bring you back. We’ve learned first-hand how final death here on earth is, and that even in the possibility of acting out a fantasy, reality comes with a fatal, irreversible ending. You’ve taught us how to pray together, to grieve publicly, and not to be ashamed to cry. We’ve learned to be strong if we could or wanted to, or not be strong if it was too much for us to bear.
You’ve taught us to be more observant, to be better listeners, to reach out and fill a void in each others’ lives, and to fit each person’s piece of the puzzle into the great maze of our own big picture.
You’ve taught us that there is guilt associated with the nature of your passing. We all feel as though we have wronged you, or failed you in some way, while in fact this was all part of your own master plan, a plan of your design which you accepted, and rightly or wrongly, chose your own way of resolving.
You’ve taught us that if it can happen to you, it can happen to any of us.
We’ve learned from you that persons who act on their feelings are not bad people, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, or some kind of monsters. They are the guy or girl sitting across from us in class. You were a bright, bubbly, outgoing, engaging friend, classmate, son, brother, nephew, cousin. You were one of us.
You’ve taught us that our friends with happy faces may not be happy in the overall scheme of things and to listen, interpret, and understand their issues and to help them work through things where possible, when they might be calling out for help or asking to be stopped.
You’ve lifted the lid from the topic of suicide, a compulsion that up to now has been taboo in our school community’s discussions and teachings.
We can now relate to the actuality of such an act, where previously it was something that happened to others, at other schools, to other people, or something that we read about in books, like far-away places.
We have learned from other tragic events in our lives that only time will heal the pain that we feel today.
Many crosses will be borne for many months and years until we come to grips with the actuality of your being gone. Try as we might, none of us will ever fully understand the rationale for the final chapter of your life.
You will be remembered always as the bright, happy-go-lucky, sixteen year old that we all knew and whose friendship we cherished. In our memories you will never grow old or face the infirmities of this life. We will pray with all of our hearts that you are at rest and at peace with yourself and with God, because only He understands why you chose to join him in this manner in the prime of your life.
Rest in peace, Ethan Boesch, our student who has become our teacher. May we all benefit from having known you, and may we all embrace the lessons you have imparted upon us.
Dave Schabell, November 4, 2009