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According to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention, every sixteen minutes someone in America dies by suicide. There were more suicide deaths of young Americans in 1995 than deaths from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and lung disease combined. In 2010 it is still the third leading cause of death of young people ages 15-24. Studies suggest that the great majority of them suffered from a diagnosable mental illness, and that most of them received either no treatment or inadequate treatment. Ryan suffered from a mental illness, that neither he nor his family understood, that did not respond to treatment, and resulted in his death. The scar across our hearts still opens, reminding us that learning to live without him is the work of a lifetime.We are forced to face what cannot be changed, and to trust the Creator for what we cannot now see. The act of writing became for me, a spiritual journey to probe the promise of beauty within the darkness, to seek understanding in mystery, and to believe once again in life after death.

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