Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Memories 13: Grade 11 / Age 16

The year I was in Grade 11, Reena Virk was killed.  I didn't know her, but I weeped for her all the same.  Bullying ended her life and what scared me the most about it all, was that it could have been someone I knew.  It could have been my brother.

Reena lived only a few hours from my home, and the same month that she died, my little brother was attacked.  He was surrounded by about 30-35 classmates and although only a few partook in the physical battery that he endured, he recalls only one voice in the crowd that was brave enough to say 'that's enough, leave him alone".

He ended up with a head wound, a concussion and a kneecap that was cracked almost entirely in half.  He can no longer skateboard and snowboarding is now synonymous with pain for him.  It's not my story to tell how and why this all happened, but let me tell you, his life was changed forever that day.  In truth, I suspect the true reason the incident occurred was due to the fact that my brother refused to follow the pack so to speak.

When it was all said and done, even after everything happened, my brother refused retaliation.  He refused to participate when the crown prosecuted the boys that beat him up and he refused to allow my friends to retaliate physically, the way that boys do.  In truth, that's one of the things I've always loved and respected about my brother.  He's always stood up for what he believed in, even if it was to his own detriment.  I truly hope that inner strength is something that the boy can learn from his uncle.

Although I want him to have strength, I don't want him to have to go through such painful experiences in order to embrace it.  My brother's incident was a long time ago, but I have trouble believing that anything has changed, that today's youth is void of bullies and instead are more kind, more caring or more compassionate on the whole.  I know it would be naive to think that the boy could live through his teenage years without experiencing some pain and anguish in his life, but there's nothing wrong with wishing it, is there?

This is post 13/15 and is part of Mommy's Piggy Tales
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  1. THis was very hard to read.. I had many classmates die in high school many suicides.. many car crashes a few natural causes.. but none by bullies.. did the same group that hurt your brother hurt Reena? why... awful...I am so sorry your brother had to endur that... I hope my son doesnt' have that ever happen... 20 to 30 is a lot of kids..

  2. Thanks for your comments, I was fortunate not to lose anyone close to me in those teenage years. And no it wasn't the same crowd of kids, Reena was bullied by girls on Vancouver Island and my brother was a victim of boy in the lower mainland, but it was still such a real connection and it breaks my heart when I hear the girl that did this to her is still putting appeals into the system. I hope no one's son has to go through these trials.
    amber :)


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