Rest In Peace

My youngest son, the heel-hoofing beautiful boy I recently “spoke” to my dad about, has a particular way of kissing me good night.

First he kisses my lips. Then my right ear. Then my left. And then my lips once more – presumably for good measure.

He kisses me good night in this fashion precisely each and every day, and last night was no exception.

Last night, however, I became painfully aware that while my 12 year old boy was kissing me good night, another father could very well have been kissing his 12 year old boy goodbye for the last time.


My heart goes out to the parents, family and friends of Bailey O’Neill. I can not fathom the pain they must be feeling at this time, and I pray for their shared peace.

People, this shit has simply got to stop already. We have got to come to grips with the fact that we are not a nation of gun-totin’ John Wayne macho men walking off into the sunset – we are a nation of people. Living, breathing, loving – and sometimes hurting – people. None of us is any better than the rest, by mere incidence of physical appearance, skin color, sexual orientation, religious practice or social position.  God damn us for thinking anything otherwise.

A 12 year old boy died yesterday because we as a people not only allow bullying to occur, but have almost put the practice onto a pedestal of sorts, praising the “tough guy” while belittling the peace maker.

My son, my children, are no strangers to bullying. They have each learned to cope in their own fashion, with a sin that is upon us all. They have each learned to deal with this barbaric rite – a rite that no one should ever have live with, let alone die from.

Bailey, I am sorry that we allowed this to happen to you. I am so sorry.

People, this shit has simply got to stop already. Let’s get to work.

33 thoughts on “Rest In Peace

  1. I’m a pacifist of the purest kind and mocked for it daily. Somewhere along our way we kind of forgot the best part of being human…compassion, acceptance, love…our culture has chosen to embrace power and profits, celebrity and plastic…bullies thrive in this environment. Moving piece…if I confess to tears “they” might beat me.

    • If they beat you, then they will have to beat us both.

      And all the things they embrace, will one day decay. But compassion, love and acceptance will forever stay, and (God and us willing), win the day.

      Thanks, Tash

  2. AMEN and AMEN t. Since I was a little girl I have never understood the reasons to make fun of someone else for any reason. I feel guilt about laughing at a phone scam..because I know that the person on the other side thinks it’s real.

    My heart breaks for any parent or person who loses someone because of something so vile and so pointless.

    let us be kinder, gentler, BETTER.

    • Right? I mean, I have and have known many, who suffered through bullying growing up. But until Columbine, I never really knew that death could be the result of it.

      I would be tempted to add to the name-calling, and say that we’re animals at times like these, but in all honesty, I can’t think of to many species that destroy each other in this fashion, over such shallow inconsequences.

    • I think it’s been killing the human spirit for generations, Kate. It has just taken this long, and with the aid of “de-humanization,” for the idea of physical death to catch up.

  3. God bless you t and the O’Neill family.

    Amen to your post and may we all heed your call and bring about this much needed change.

  4. Bullying changes lives t. The sad part is that it is a cycle that has continued to manifest itself over and over again in society as part of the norm. You said that people”have almost put the practice onto a pedestal of sorts, praising the “tough guy” while belittling the peace maker,” this is part of the problem, and addressing it means taking major steps with the adults in and around each potential situation. How does that begin? If a child is bullied in the home, they will learn to bully in life. In some ways the act of bullying is a defense they have learned to use in order to survive. It is not enough to just say it has to stop, there have to be effective measures to do so that encourage people (mostly children) to be kind to one another. This might mean a reward system in schools for the leader of the pack that walks away from a bully and takes the audience with them. A bully needs an audience or they cannot bully.

    Even when that is in place, there are the adults that need to back a child up when they are being bullied. Too often the words a child hears when they talk about being bullied are things like “Quit acting like a baby and deal with it,” “Are you going to let them get the upper hand?” “Don’t be a tattle tale,” etc… It is not only accepted, but it is encouraged as the form of behavior that is best suited to deal with the situation at hand. It really should not surprise people that there are young minds that have had enough and strike out in ways that are completely extreme when they have been shown that it is appropriate.

    This is a topic that I could continue with for a very long time, so I am going to find my stopping point here, and let it be until I can come up with better answers to an already pressing question.

    • You are absolutely correct k ~. Words, though they be at the very core of the problem, can do nothing to solve it by themselves. Action must also be included, as well as a pretty drastic change in our cultural leanings. The problem I think, is that we can’t attack “globally,” but rather individually. We have to each of us act like we would want others to, in the hopes that they will follow suit, while protecting our own against those who will refuse to do so.

      I know (hope) that that is what I working towards with the boy currently living with us. Four years of abuse and bullying is a long time for anyone, but for him, it has literally been a lifetime. I am hopeful that by the time he leaves us, he will understand on some level, that the actions of others do not mandate how he has to respond. Like all of us, he too has the power to raise the bar instead of lowering it.

  5. Listen, the two kids who did that to Bailey have to deal with that, forever. But what about the parents, school officials, and students who knew of Bailey’s bully, were around when the act occureed, and did nothing? We have to continue to drive home the idea that all bullying is wrong and the right thing to do stop it, report it, and prosecute it. I’m heartbroken over Bailey and his family. I hope they find peace with how the investigation pans out and with what Bailey’s legacy can offer.

    beautiful. Keep kissing them. My 17-year-old daughter doesn’t want me to, I still do it.

    • The first thing I did when I got home was hug my almost 16 year old – he cringed as usual, but relented none the less =)

      And yes, it needs to be a communal effort, but one accomplished through personal actions.

  6. I did not press the “like” button for the subject, but as a recognition of the fact that here you are talking about something very important.
    Life is simply sad . Yes, bullying changes lives , breaks some people for life. I know how stupid bullying is from my own childhood, it was a black stain in my past. Now, with my adult mind I would stand any moment by anyone that has to face this if I would ever witness it or hear about it. I know what it means and I think as well that this should be stopped.
    The problem is that some witness and don’t care, some parents never talk to their children or never realise the signs of agression in their children. Some are too busy, some are not wise enough, some are too selfish. And so this world loses humanity and feeling…

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