I have to admit that right now talking about the Power Play or which team is the best one in the East or the lack of trades in the NHL all seems pretty trivial right now. The suicide death of Luke and Stephanie Richardson's youngest daughter Daron has put so many things into a different perspective for all of us who are around Luke, this team and this league.
Maybe because all of us who live in this NHL life have an unsaid arrogance that this type of horrific tragedy doesn't happen in our world. Clearly it does.
This tragic loss of this young life is no different than any other. It is the same grief and sorrow that comes with any teen suicide, but this is different because its public. Working in the NHL means that you must forfeit some of your privacy and anonymity. The Richardson's know that and have been remarkably public about the details of their daughters death. If I were in their shoes I doubt I could be that strong and I admire their grace during what is the very worst time in all of their lives.
What has come of this so far is remarkable though. Out of such a brutally heart wrenching situation is some good that benefits all of us who have children. First was the organ donation and second the conversations. There are parents all over the city, the region and the league who are having conversations with their children about suicide. Conversations about depression and dark thoughts. Conversations about making sure there are open lines of communication with their children. Conversations about what to do if you ever feel like you have no options and the world is not worth living in.
There is nothing that can ever erase the pain the Richardson family is going through and even with that, by being so public about their situation they have given all of us a gift. The gift is a sobering perspective on teen suicide which may help prevent one or two or five or ten other ones.
There is nothing any of us can say to the Richardson's to ease their pain. Sadly it is theirs to carry for the rest of their lives. But we can say thank you for finding the very little that is good from this and sharing that sliver of good with the rest of us, to help the rest of us foresee and avoid the horror you are now going through.
God be with you.