Facebook is a mess over Felix’s death. There are people who Felix was close to who continue to assert that he was male. And then a lot of people who claim that they didn’t know and therefore it can’t be true. A large group of other people are spending a lot of time and energy telling people that they are wrong to acknowledge that Felix was male because it’s hurting a family who is already hurting enough.
Hmmmm…first off Felix was hurting so much that he didn’t feel like he could keep on living. Despite taking college classes at 16, being part of a young engineer program, holding down a job, being a respected member of the archery team, and seeming like an all around good kid, Felix felt like he had no reason to live. Now why would that be? What is the level of pain you have to have to make the decision that Felix did? How bad is it? Is it possible that the pain Felix felt was more than what his parents feel now?
What I really wonder is do his parents regret anything about the way they treated him? Extended family and friends clearly had no idea about Felix, so it wasn’t openly shared. But those around Felix, like classmates, friends, and co-workers, did know. That tells me that Felix was open about who he was with those around him. His family had to know. Last month was Pride Month and it seems like Felix attended with some friends. Was last month great for Felix and this past month was terrible? Did Felix have hope last month and lost all hope this month?
Some people elude to the world being too harsh in their memorialization of Felix. Was Felix bullied at school? Was Felix having problems with peers because he didn’t fit in long before he knew he was male?
I live in a permanent state of constant curiosity, especially when it comes to people and relationships. It helps me to know the whys. Sometimes I just have to invent them when I’m not really sure of the answers and have no way to get answers. But with Felix, I’m just holding space and not inventing the answers. Someone hurt this child and made him feel like he was invalid. Someone bullied this child and forced him to feel hopeless when he had so much to live for. He was close to being out of the house and surely would’ve won scholarships and would not have needed to depend on his parents for anything, if they were indeed the ones who hurt him.
But what if the pain was coming from the inside? What if Felix couldn’t get past the pain of knowing he was different; that he wasn’t meeting the expectations everyone had for him? What if he didn’t see a way to exist as he was moving forward? Perhaps that pain is insurmountable, even with good things and supportive family all around you.
But with the obituary and all the dead-naming around this child, it really seems like the family was unable to cope with this being known. Maybe they were supportive but wanted to keep it private? I don’t know. I will never know. But add Felix to the list of children who couldn’t go on another day because it was too painful to exist as they are in this world.
Be kind. Be loving. Put positive energy out into the world.