Please Say That Tyler’s Story Will Change Just One Heart

Yesterday, I posted the faces of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in my anger. Angry at them for their callous disregard of our right to privacy. I wanted everyone to see who pushed Tyler Clementi over the edge. I want their faces to be known so that they can’t “just move” to avoid recognition.

Yesterday, I was angry.

Today, I am sad. So very, very sad that a beautiful human being has left this earth. A violinist. A student. A friend. A son.

I want to tell his parents how very, very sorry I am that they lost their son so tragically. I want to tell them I can’t imagine the pain and loss they are suffering. I want to tell them to “just breathe.”

Maybe it’s because of the losses I have endured these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I lost a dear high school friend to suicide during our first month of college. Maybe I am hoping upon hope that Tyler’s death will be a wake-up call to every amateur videographer out there.

Just maybe.

“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go” – But this was much too soon. And I ache knowing that Tyler felt so desperate, so alone, that he felt his only choice was suicide. And I can only imagine the pain and heartache those close to him (most of all, his parents) are feeling. Such guilt for not helping. Unneccessary guilt, unfounded guilt. But guilt, nonetheless.

“Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none” – I am so blessed to have an amazing support system. And Tyler’s death reminds me of those out there who have precious few in their lives to turn to. I wish my arms were long enough to reach them all.

“Let’s just breathe” – We can only do what we can do. We can love our children with all our might. We can remember those in times of need. We can cling to our spouses, lovers or friends. But some days it’s all we can do to just breathe.

I chose to write about this again today because many of you commented that you were unaware of Tyler’s story. Tyler Clementi deserves more press, more than Ravi and Wei, that is. His is the spirit that was shattered. His is the life that was ended.

Nothing can bring Tyler back. But maybe his story will reach through the internet and touch hearts. Maybe it will turn hearts and change just one soul out there, encouraging kindness, compassion and most of all, privacy.


Filed under Be-Causes, Music, People, Relating

17 responses to “Please Say That Tyler’s Story Will Change Just One Heart

  1. I hope Jane as your title suggests one heart will be changed. Sometimes taking a breath is all you can do. I feel for those parents. Their grief must be unimanginable.

    I appreciate your words and your tribute to Tyler. Peace.

  2. Jane:

    Thank you for writing about this again…people do care. There is a movement on Facebook to wear purple on October 20th in memory of Tyler and the other five young men who have taken their own lives in the past few months due to bullying. I will be participating, as well as my family.


  3. Its so unspeakable sad when our children turn to suicide as option. Such a big collective fail for all of us.
    Times are such that even one of the kids had a conscious that said “Wait. No. Wrong. Stop.” Once the send button was hit it was over.

    Breathing deep.


  4. It’s so important that you are writing and talking about this. It is yet one more example of utterly lost sensibility to propriety or boundaries that is prevalent in our “social media” age.

    The bottom line – privacy and common sense. Suicide is tragic enough. The reason for this one is somehow particularly appalling.

  5. This is beautifully written, Jane. I hope that hearts will be changed, too.

  6. My heart also aches for this talented young man and his family and friends.

  7. Jayne

    I think you were right to post names and photos of the perpetrators. We name and shame, as my French family would ironically say ‘pour encourager les autres’.
    This is not an isolated incident of unthinking cruelty but symptomatic of a growing sickness in our societies. It would be nice to think that this tragedy will at least prompt some discussion as to how and why this has happened and what we can do to change things.

  8. This story needs to be EVERYWHERE so that this will not happen to one more child. And the song? I love it. I’d never heard it before.

  9. We can’t forget. Thanks for showing two different sides to the story.

  10. Pingback: Are you the bully or the bullied? « Notes from Rumbly Cottage

  11. I too hope that at least one heart will be changed with your posts. That parents will give some thought to teaching their children about respect and the right to privacy – not just their right, but the right of everyone. How “fun” captured as someone else’s expense is not really “fun”, but cruel. Torture.

    So is this really about the failure of parents to teach their children these things? Or society in general not demanding these courtesies?

  12. It needs to be a discussion around every family dinner table. And between every parent and every child. It needs to be discussed in school, and in church, and on facebook and every other social networking site. It needs to be written about and cared about.

    Because Tyler was special, and so were all the other kids who killed themselves because of bullying. It has to stop. We have to take the time to recognize it and stop it.

    All of us.

  13. I know my heart was changed. Thanks 🙂

  14. I was furious when I read about it. I think there is a movement brewing. I hope this time it reaches the intended audience rather than the “choir”.

  15. Amy

    Just a thought; I wonder why, in your previous post, you said that you wished the perpetrators had been white? I was not surprised they were minorities. Minority groups typicallly have the least enlightened views on homosexuality. If you are homosexual in the middle east you are executed. In India it is so unacceptable to be gay that AIDS is running rampant. Asia in general is not a very gay-friendly place and families that have immigrated here from there pass those attitudes down to their kids….. Americans (caucasion ones) are in general much more accepting of homosexuals than most cultures.


    So sad. I know humans want desperately to think that something good comes out of tragedy. And even if that’s just us looking to cope, The Trevor Project *will* do good. The “It Will Get Better” videos *will* help. And posts like this *will* help.

    Thanks for posting it.

  17. I’m catching up on your posts after being out of town. I hadn’t heard about this…so sad!

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