For those of you who have been following the saga of the our next door neighbors grandson, then this is what may have been his final chapter.
My son, Kiernan, and the grandson were playing in our backyard this afternoon for quite awhile. I didn't hear from them for awhile, which can be disturbing when it's this boy over playing (as you never know what he's got running through his head). The two came busting in through the back door talking really fast and the grandson went out the front door. I looked at Kiernan quizically and asked, "What's going on?" He came back with something like the grandson was throwing trash from our yard (broken toys and what not) into our neighbors yard (the neighbors on the other side---not the boy's grandparents). Well the neighbor had come out and yelled at them and now the neighbor was on his way to gramma's house to tell them what had happened.
Mike (my husband) thought that sounded pretty odd (to get that mad over toys being thrown over the fence) so he headed next door too. Not long after Mike comes back and heads right to Kiernan. "Were you both throwing trash over the fence?" Kiernan nodded his head. Then Mike said, "What is this about you two handing yourselves from the swingset until you passed out!?" I jumped up to look at them. By now Kiernan was crying and you really couldn't get anything out of him. I couldn't even tell you what the conversation was after that but it included Mike asking Kiernan if he even knew what it meant to be dead. My brain just froze and tears sprang to my eyes. Mike sent him to his room (Kiernan was bawling at this point) and went back outside. I was bawling myself at this point. I called my mom to tell her what happened and was just sobbing. While still on the phone, I glanced out the door and saw that Mike, our neighbor and the boy's gramma and mom had him surrounded in the street. He was standing in the center staring at the ground with his hands in his pockets. It took me every ounce of strength not to race out the front door and strangle him.
I got off the phone with my mom and headed upstairs. I could hear Kiernan crying before I even got to the door. He was sobbing uncontrollably with his back against the wall. I tried to pull him into a hug but he was too upset. I tried to explain to him over and over what he had almost done. When he finally calmed down we talked about it a little more but really, he was more upset that he wasn't going to be able to spend the night at Nick's house then the fact that he could have died. I told him, "Don't EVER do anything that would take you away from me. I would cry for the rest of my life from missing you." And I left the room.
Mike came in a little later and told me the whole story. After the neighbor had yelled at the boys for throwing trash, he ended it with something to the effect of "I've had enough" or "that's the last straw." Well, the boy took this to mean that he wasn't allowed to play with the neighbor's kids anymore. He was so upset that they couldn't be his friends anymore that he decided to hang himself. The neighbor was watching to see if the boys were going to throw more trash and saw the attempted hanging. Folks, this is a 9 year old boy on medication and in therapy. But It was not my son who had tried to hang himself. Kiernan insists that his friend had hit him with a stick hard enough to throw him off the swing.
A 7 1/2 year old doesn't know what it means to die forever. His idea of dying is to reboot the game and start over. Right now he's perfectly content to get ready to watch movies with me for "Movie Night." If you had asked me before, I wouldn't have said that a 9 year old would have known what it means to die forever. Now? I don't know.