Two stories struck me as I glanced through Metro whilst sitting on the tube this morning. Tallulah Wilson, a seemingly bright and vivacious 15 year old took her own life by leaping in front of a train. Reportedly, Tallulah was struggling to cope with; the death of her grandmother, bullying and her parent’s divorce. Her only solace was found in an alternate virtual reality, which honoured self harm, and seemingly promoted suicide. She walked out of the family home saying that she “didn’t need her ballet stuff today” and was killed at St Pancras station. I wonder how many of her 18,000 virtual friends caught the gaze of her devastated parents by attended her funeral. Not many I imagine. Shame on those who encouraged this child to make such a terrible choice.
Second story was that of Beverley Pickover, a 35 year old alcoholic, mother of four dying of liver disease. Her partner of five years, Anthony Howard was photographed nursing her whilst the newspaper reported that she turned to booze following a series of failed relationships. She will die soon.
Call me an idealist, but both stories to me are very sad, and both have at their root a failure in relationships. Someone very smart once said that, “you can trace just about every problem in the World to a relationship problem”. How true this is, and how important it is to do all we can to resolve fractured relationships, and to value relationships highly.
And so as we consider the people in our sphere of influence, just watch out because one of them may be an earlier version of Tallulah’s poor lost parent’s, or an earlier version of Beverley’s partner. You get my point. People are fragile and precious – handle with care.