On May 2, 2017, an amazing human was taken from this world and called to heaven because of a rare unbearable pain.
Cody was only 14 years old when he made the choice to end his pain. The problem is that all seemed right with Cody. It’s unbelievable how wrong we truly were. Though his parents were aware of his depression and were taking many steps to aid him in becoming happy and joyful again, these steps came to a dark end in the road.
The day before Cody committed suicide we spent the day together. We were at Escalante, and he had been gone for a couple of days. He was standing by the Taz team pod, and I was by the Panther's team. This was a long straight hallway where the kids hung out during breaks and passing periods. When I saw Cody standing there talking to his friend Drake, we made eye contact. He flashed me a huge smile and opened his arms and said come jump. I ran up to Cody and jumped into his arms. He held me for a couple of minutes in silence and then put me down. Later that day I saw him during lunch passing. He gave me a big hug and went to class. We then made plans to go to the fairgrounds and hang out for a while. We went for a walk around and then went and climbed on the walls behind the extension office. We ran around and just had some fun and then sat and talked for a while in the grandstands by the outdoor arena. After our talk, he seemed to be better and our parents came and picked us up.
Cody, unlike typical suicides, was not suffering the pain of bullying or feeling unloved or that no one cared, but rather a mental impairment. Cody had suffered from multiple concussions throughout his life. Seven months before Cody committed suicide, he suffered from his worst and final concussion and this changed everything. Cody had remained in the hospital overnight and while he was recovering the next morning his parents received news that was in no way going to sit well. Cody’s best friend, TC Rockwell, had committed suicide that day. Once again nothing had appeared to be bothering TC or upsetting him, and once again how wrong we all were. Despite all the advisement's from doctors, friends, and family, Cody’s parents had decided to tell Cody about TC’s death that morning. This weighed heavily on Cody. Suicide is an incredible weight to carry on its own, but add a terrible concussion altering your ability to process the news and you are in a much worse position.
Cody had not been himself at home for months, making his parents believe that they had lost their son to depression. However, on his birthday he had been the happiest he had been in months. He was looking forward to a trip they were about to go on in the following weeks, but however, excited and happy he was feeling at that moment it changed quicker than ever. The way his parents described it was a monster that would tell him things that were so far from the truth. Cody believed everything that this “monster” would tell him.
Every day after, Cody struggled to stay happy. Despite his parents’ best efforts to help him overcome this state of depression, they were sadly unsuccessful. The way that the friends and family continue to honor Cody is to follow the lead that his family provided. This is how it went, every morning when Cody would walk down the stairs into the kitchen where the family was making breakfast they would talk and make the food together. They would then sit down to eat and go around the table and everyone would name 5 things that made them happy each day. They could be the same 5 things or totally different each day.
Cody’s death made it visible to me how easy it is for a person to hide what they are feeling to everyone in the world. I believe this because Cody appeared completely normal and like his happy self to the world but inside he was miserable, sad, and hurting.
You can’t really ever pinpoint the exact pain that a person has inside. Therefore, when you notice that someone is off or in a different mood, go that extra mile to show them that you love them and there are other less permanent solutions. During this hard time for them, they are in constant darkness. Their whole world is a dark hole. Be the light that drives them out. Support, love and, care for them. I believe that you should always try to be aware of what a person can be hiding and what you can do to be there and support them because it is not all visible.
The Me I Am ~ By Sophia Hardesty Who I am supposed to be was decided 15 years ago by the society I was born into. When a baby is born, they already have a name chosen for them, an anticipated lifestyle, and set expectations. Babies don't get to decide who they get to be. Everything to the smallest detail is chosen for them all the way down to the style of music they grow up on. When I think about how my life and identity was planned out and formed, the first thing that comes to mind is an A/B student, a person to be looked up to by the society and held to high expectations. This will tell you my background that shapes my mind into feeling the pressure to be strong and live up to expectations. Our identity is lost at the moment. Process this, monkey sees monkey do. People see this as a way of life. They see what their friends, family, etc. do and they feel what's called peer pressure. They have the need to copy and participate in the actions that occur around them. Now granted, there are people in this world that fight the “need” and push beyond the urge to participate in the actions occurring. The identity of a person is special and needs to be correctly developed. Many people in the current day often get brought up with drugs and alcohol or on occasion not socialized at all. There is a girl named Genie and she was locked in an attic for 13 years. She was eventually found and completely unable to function as an average human being. This example is just one of the many reasons as to why it is important for humans to be exposed to multiple sides of socialization. I always feel the pressure that I cannot give in. About 2 years ago I lost my brother to prison. This holds a significance in my heart. It is also a daily reminder to stay strong and be the best I can every day possible. On similar lines, I lost my best friend and the person I thought I could trust the most. Slowly through the years as I got older, I started to notice that my sister was selfish and harmful to both the people around her but more importantly herself. My sister is an addict. She has hurt me and betrayed my trust. I continue to hold on and wait for my brother though I hesitate to do the same for my sister. My reasoning being my brother has owned what he has done and works every day to fix it to the best of his ability. My sister has yet to call me or to call anyone to face the mistakes she has made… I am fearful to put my trust into others because I hold on to what the reality of my sister truly was. One of the biggest influences on my life is my father. He is one of my best friends and when I need a big bear hug, he is always there to give me one. He protects me from any and everything that could harm me. Two years ago, I had to return the favor. My dad was transported on a flight for life to a Swedish hospital in Denver and remained between there and Craig for about two months. He was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis. This ended with him being paralyzed from the chest down in two days’ time. His immune system attacked the myelin sheath on his spinal cord. Many people come out of this in a wheelchair; however, my father did not. With this comes a severe amount of aching and nerve pain. This can often trigger a tense emotion. With this emotion comes occasional anger. Our family has to learn to understand what has happened to my dad's brain. When things get elevated, whether it's a fight or a simple conversation, the members of our family have to be soft and understanding when he is unable to
reason or process what is happening correctly. The strength to remain calm holds a precedence within our family. Despite the negative impacts on my life, there are also the good ones. My Mom has always been my best friend. She has provided everything I could ever want. She makes my life as easy as she can. Thanks to her I have my endless love for horses, the biggest part of my life. Since before I can remember, horses have been a HUGE part of my life. They play the largest piece in my life by teaching me to have patience and to respect the way they communicate and how to listen to the silent cues requesting their needs. These animals’ function with grace and there is a special therapy they provide for all people with any and all conditions, whether mental or physical. They are the reason I continue to be strong and push through things I wouldn't otherwise be able to. My family gives me strength and teaches me to overcome almost any challenge life should throw. I believe that I would be a totally different person with totally different expectations if anything in my life were to be different. Society holds a pressure over me every day reminding me to fight when I need to fight and to proceed with grace when fighting is not an option. I can thank every single person in my life for who I am, and the people to come, I look forward to the impact on my identity you have yet to make.