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kiota is gone

Fifteen days before her 19th birthday, one of my students --- whom I had been helping with academic and creative work --- committed suicide. It happened very far from UVM, at her college on the other side of the country. They found her yesterday.

She had been born in New Jersey and had grown up in Israel from the age of three, near the West Bank, and returned to the USA last Fall to start college here.

She was doing some brilliant writing, far beyond what I've ever seen from a first-year student, and was being praised for it by her faculty. But she was also carrying a massive amount of pyschological pain, which was growing and had been for the past ten years at least. This finally grew great enough to kill all her hope of ever healing it in this life.

Along the way, many people tried to intervene to help her, including me: but the help proved to be temporary and the damage was unstoppable.

Only a handful of her LJ friends ever got to meet her in real life. I was one of them. That is as unforgettable as her death is. Her light will be remembered much much longer.


Apr. 16th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
I wasn't really close with Kiota, as she was called on the forum I frequent, but I'd known her a long time. I'm fifteen, and I must of met her when I was eleven or so. I guess we never talked regularly, but there were a few things she did that just demonstrated what a great person she was. She was ALWAYS, unconditionally there for people that needed help. People would post, contemplating suicide, and she'd talk to them. She wouldn't question their honesty or their purposes for posting, she'd just help, which many others did not do. There was one occasion when a person was posing, pretending to be a fourteen year old boy who was being abused by his step-father, and she sought to help him. After figuring out the truth, she wasn't critical or angry at the person-as I was, as I'd been closely involved in this situation-but still there to help, because the person just felt the need to do that. She was always willing to talk to people that needed her, helping others. Talking them out of suicide, of taking their own lives. She was such a good person. It's such a tragedy that she died. I'm so sorry for all those that were close to her. She may be gone, but the positive impact and change that she has made on the lives of many won't ever be.
Apr. 17th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
ALWAYS, unconditionally there
So many have experienced exactly this. Including me. And not always in distressed situations, either.

I'm not Jewish but I stopped by Chabad House on campus to talk, met Zalman, a young man who heard some of Anna's story and suggested that her mourners share and concentrate on and work toward the positive things she showed us in her life. and here is Claire talking of the same things.

I'm very humbled atm that my journal has become a kind of forum remembering Anna, since the only reason I have one in the first place is that Anna poked me and poked me to start one, because she had friendslocked hers and this was the only way I could keep up with her daily life as she wanted me to do, once she had friended me.

So the fact we are all here with her now, and with each other, is another gift directly from her...another unconditional one.


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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