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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 2 months ago

A New Perspective on Life


It was April 4, 2005, a beautiful day in Pittsburgh. I can remember the sun shining and there was not a cloud in the sky (a rarity in the ‘burgh); the temperature outside was 75 degrees. I was on my way home from Walmart with my mom when, as we were discussing how excited I was about upcoming graduation, my cell phone rang. My mom always gets irritated and asks, “Who could possibly be calling now?” I looked at my phone and decided to answer for it was one of my best friends. I could tell something was wrong, but I was unsure of what it was. She told me that she had terrible news; something awful had happened. Caught up in the moment, I didn’t think that anything she was going to tell me could be that bad. I was naïve of the world around me because I was invincible. I was supposed to be invincible. We all were. My friends and I were seniors waiting for the day when graduation would come and we would be free.

As she told me that one of our dear friends, Jonathan, had killed himself, I laughed. I honestly laughed in disbelief. Funny joke I thought. I could not even hold the words that she was saying to be true. He would never do something like that. Not Jonathan Maddigan, the star wrestler, the wonderful and loving son, the boy that everyone loved and every girl’s idea of the guy they hoped to marry someday. I immediately began questioning why, what reason did he have to take his life. A million things were running through my head and all I wanted to do was call him and hear his voice. I wanted to prove my best friend wrong, I wanted to tell her that Jonathan was in fact alive and well, lifting weights or running down Main Street as he always was in the evenings. When it actually hit me that her words were indeed true, I screamed. I could not change anything; I was helpless. When I arrived home, only to go to my high school guidance counselor’s house shortly thereafter, I experienced what everyone calls an “emotional rollercoaster.” My mom and I just sat and cried. I think she might have loved him an ounce more than I did. She always, perpetually asked me how he was doing, what he was busying his life with.

My good friend Jessica picked me up and we went to Mr. Bugel’s, my high school guidance counselor, house. (I live in small town, went to a small high school, everyone knows everyone. My guidance counselor’s son was in my grade, dated my friend, and became one of my best friends. As a result, his dad, also my guidance counselor, became a father to not only me, but to my friends. We practically lived at his house.) I walked into the Bugel household and into the kitchen where I found seven of my best friends. I looked at them and immediately began to sob. We never had to experience a death that close to home together. As we sat and talked about what had happened, trying to find out what actually did happen, we realized that our lives had just been changed forever. I know that that is cliché, but each of our lives has never been the same since that day. We were so greatly affected by his tragic death that it is so hard to even think of him without wanting to cry. Each time I think of him, I just want to ask why. What reasons did he have to kill himself? We were not the only ones experiencing these emotions. Jonathan Maddigan was that boy. He was an alter server in church, a loving big brother to Jake and Abby, a wonderful son to Jack and Lisa, a friend to everyone that crossed his path, a great student, and an awesome athlete. He had scholarships to about eight colleges to wrestle. What made it even more difficult? One of my best friends, Amy, is his first cousin. How would we face Amy and her family? What words could we use to console or comfort her?

The next day in school, everyone was distraught. Teachers that had taught him, people that had known him, we were all in tears. As the day went on, we all were remembering him, telling stories of him, trying to comfort each other. We learned in less than twenty four hours the value and delicacy of life. We realized how important to each other we really were. His death affected the lives of so many people; lives that will never be the same. I learned to really look at life, at my friends, family, and take time to let them know how much you love and care about them. Don’t let the day pass without talking to your friends. I hadn’t talked to Jonathan for a few days before he killed himself. I regret it to the fullest. I wish that he could have seen how much he was cared about, how much he was loved. Although he might not have been able to help what he did, maybe he could have gotten some help, or reached out to one of us. I hope that no one ever has to feel that their life is so awful that it is not worth living. I hope that a lesson is learned from my story. I never want anyone to go through what my friends, his family, and everyone in our community went through.


For the classmates narratives, I was intrigued by Jenlo's narrative. Her great detail inspired me to try to capture the events in order to share and retell my New Perspective on Life.

I was also influenced by BloNdie's narrative. She shared a lesson that she has learned in life. I also tried to share my story, and the lesson that I have learned in my short lifespan.

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