Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Why do they give this stuff to kids?"

Those were Kendall's last words to her mother before she seized, lost consciousness, and despite extraordinary attempts to revive her, died.

Kendall was 15, just a month shy of her 16th birthday.  Twenty-four hours before, she had taken that one little pill.

We know she didn't want to.  She knew there would be drugs at the party and told a friend the day before that she didn't want to take any.  Why did she?  Peer pressure, of course, and with marijuana in her system, probably lowered resistance.

Why was she at this house, where it was known that the parent  there allowed minors to drink alcohol, and apparently do drugs too?

Why did Kendall's parents let her go?  Why did the parent at the party allow it?  

Why had Kendall already dropped out of high school early in her sophomore year?  Why didn't she have help setting higher standards?  Why did her parents and adults in her life abuse alcohol and marijuana in her presence, setting the example that it was OK?

There is plenty of blame to go around.  Arrests have been made and the FBI investigation continues.  An 18 year old boy sold the Ecstasy to the 16 year old girl who brought it to the party.  Both have been arrested.  More arrests may be pending.

But that doesn't bring Kendall back.  That doesn't mend the broken hearts.  

Kendall was my grand niece, and I didn't know her well.  She lived 200 miles away, in northwest Oregon.   That's where we were yesterday attending her funeral.  She was my sister Ilene's much beloved granddaughter, and the daughter of my nephew Tim and his wife Kathy. 

There were many young people at the service, and they were obviously hit hard by the death of their friend.

Will they learn?  Will any of them ever learn?

Why, indeed.


  1. This is so heartbreaking, Linda, and my heart goes out to you and to Kendall's family! And WHY??? is a question many of us ask today!


  2. Oh Linda... This is so sad and tragic. We do often ask these questions when it's too late to do anything about it. I am so sorry. I have a cousin who committed suicide after returning from Vietnam decades ago. I couldn't understand then why he couldn't get help when he needed it.

  3. Such a tragedy. These are the things that tear families apart. Awful, awful. Am I imagining your sister has also lost a child or two? Early deaths are the hardest to come to terms with. So sorry.

  4. Kendall's death is so sad and so unnecessary. What a tragedy. It would be wonderful
    if her peers would learn a lesson, but they won't.

  5. @ Linda - Yes, Ilene lost two sons, one directly and one indirectly from alcohol abuse.

  6. Linda, this just breaks my heart to read this. I am so very sorry. Please give your sister our words of condolence. I've seen too many, and one is too many, deaths such as this while my husband was principal. It is so shocking and sad for all around, but sadly, it seems those who have seen this happen, or heard about it, don't seem to think it will happen to them.

    My husband was principal to the "Bellagio Bandit." I don't know if you ever read about him. He was one of my husband's all time favorite students. He got hooked on oxy and stole to feed his habit. He wrote my husband from prison and told him that even after he saw his cousin die of an overdose, he didn't learn and get help. Now, he will spend his youth in prison.

  7. I am so sorry to read this, Linda. My heart goes out to your sister, and for the loss of this beautiful person in the world. So very very sad for everyone...

  8. A tragic story I am so very sorry for your loss and so sorry for everyone concerned.

    It is very hard for parents to know what their teens are doing, so the blame lies on parents who let their kids have the run of the house and don't supervise.

  9. I'm so sorry and am praying for your family, Linda.

    Kathy M.

  10. A sad story Linda. Sorry that this has happened within your family. Serious punishments need to be given for any illegal drug related offence - Dave

  11. sad event as sad as teen suicide...we all need to reach out more to our family teens...

  12. Sad. My cousin died of an overdose of alcohol and illegal drugs. She was 17. It broke my uncle's heart and he never got over it.

  13. Awful, awful, awful. I am so sorry.

  14. Hi Linda,
    I just found your blog, and while reading back, came to this tragic story. Why, indeed? My heart goes out to you and your family, as the reverberations of this sad news will continue to haunt those connected to this young woman.
    Sending healing thoughts

  15. Oh Linda, I am soo sorry. Soo sorry.
    Bless you all, what a tragic loss.
    They do occur sometimes in every family, and take their toll. I had such losses in my family years ago. I empathize with you all, and send my love to all of you, and my hopes for healing.


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