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Then There Was Silence

In Loving Memory of Mariah LeeAnn Montileaux
January 3, 1995 ~ November 18, 2009


Shortly after noon on a cold day in November of 2009
on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota,
this beautiful girl of just fourteen years
decided that she could no longer
bear the sadness in her life.

So she hung herself while at home alone.

Then there was nothing left but silence...
 until they found her lifeless body.


Forever more her playful laughter has been silenced, 
leaving only heartbreak
and the endless tears
of her mother and her brother,
an extended family and countless friends.



 Thank you Lord for accepting the spirit of this child
into your loving arms,
as I know you have.
 May she find the peace and comfort
 that escaped her here,
and may she know how deeply she is missed and loved. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Sunday Scribblings where the prompt this week is "silence".

30 comments:

  1. The unbelievable sadness in this post is heartbreaking. Looking for answers does not help as this would make the pain so much the greater. May she rest in peace now.

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    1. The answers, from her adolescent eyes were so simple, from our more experienced place we can see the error of her thought.

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  2. So sad, Josie! She's beautiful. It's hard to understand what people could be dealing with that seems so unbearable. Especially when it's our youth.
    I hope the family has found peace

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    1. To someone young a heartbreak is unbearable Robin, even for us much older, it can also nearly be.

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  3. I know this sadness it has envoked me several times, but that was a lovely prayer and I thank you for allowing us to remember that there is a dark life and there is a bright life and we need to reach out and make others feel the brightness from a simple smile, prayer, and caring!! You are so wonderful Josie.

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    1. That is so true, J, we can choose chase the light of hope or dwell in the darkness of despair. We need to know that someone cares, and then we need to believe.

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  4. This is heartbreaking, because she looks so happy in her pictures. So for me the question has to be - what made her so sad that she took her own life? Has that question been addressed, or answers found?

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    1. Overwhelmingly heartbreaking Altonian. She was sad because her boyfriend had been recently killed in a car accident and she felt so terribly lost and alone without him. Everyone realized that she was very sad, no one knew exactly how sad. So often smiles are hiding tears.

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  5. Not even knowing this young woman it still seems a harder outcome to bear because (as Altonian says) she looks so happy in the photos..jae

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    1. We know that story well, Jae... everything appears ok to others eyes, only we alone know what's really going on inside us and how desperately alone and hopeless we sometimes feel. Mariah truly loved dancing, so in that photograph, the shy smile was very real.

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  6. Lovely sentiments. As adults, most of us learn that our lives flow up and down and that eventually bad times will improve. But the young who have lost hope often can't see beyond the here and now. So sad.

    My response to the SILENCE prompt can be found here: http://proartz.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-summer-of-1974-short-fiction.html

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    1. That is so true CJ, for the young, and especially for children on the rez, suicide is a terribly permanent answer to what is in the bigger picture of life, a temporary problem. Sadly, too many of them are not reached in time.

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  7. Too sad to lose someone so young. How horrible was her life to feel there was no hope left?

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    1. From her young eyes, it was that horrible, and that lonely, although in reality there were many who cared about her. No one realized how deeply she was struggling.

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  8. That is a silence that can't be broken but screams at you relentlessly. Stories such as this make me indescribably sad.

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    1. You describe it well J, a permanent silence that makes your heart scream with sadness and rage. So tragic, so unnecessary, so very wrong.

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  9. Heartbreakingly beautiful tribute. This weekend our goddaughter, Dewey, would have turned 25. She died at age 8. She shouldn't have died, either. We miss her as much now as ever. Hugs.

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    1. Heartbreaking indeed McGuffy Ann. I do not know Dewey's story, but the tender age of eight is indeed much to young for life to end. The hole that is left in one's heart never truly heals. Hugs back to you.

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  10. life is unbearable sometimes... she escaped it...

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    1. For her it was Shimon, but I have no doubt that she is just fine now. I believe that.

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  11. I cry as I write this, even though it has been three years the loneliness and heartache she brought to her family by her action is so terribly sad and heart wrenching. My daughter has been gone 635 days and each day is just as hard as the first, I pray for her soul that she is Resting In the arms of the Father and for her family that will always wonder what they could have done had they only known. god bless:)

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    1. Truly, you are one who can too well understand a mother's heartbreak that will never go away. Life can be incrediblly cruel, and so very hard for those loved ones who are left behind and must go on living while struggling to make sense of what is senseless. (((Hugs)))

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  12. After hearing about this girl's loss, it seems as though she was so isolated in her relationship with her boyfriend that she could not hear the message, "It gets better."

    As an activist on preventing teen suicide, I would suggest that every peer of a young person who has lost someone close to them, who is gay or has recently come out - any teen with serious issues... that other teens get CLOSE to them. Huge them, leave notes with phone numbers slipped into their locker and say "Call me and we can go to a movie, or just talk." I'm so sorry this poor girl felt that alone... and I pray that her parents know there is not much they could do about it. To bury your own child is indeed hell on earth. Peace, Josie. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/11/19/bitter-silence/

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    1. You have some wonderful insight and wisdom here, Amy. It is that sense of being all alone and feeling hopeless that leads to this. So often no one notices how deeply that person is hurting until after something horrible happens. We need to become more vigilant, and always make sure everyone in our lives know we care and are there for them.

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  13. Its a lovely thing to have this memorial for her - my prayers for her family and friends x

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    1. Holding anniversary memorial services and diners is part of the traditional Lakota way, and it's good one. It gives people an opportunity to share their grief, and to speak of and remember together the good things this person brought to their loves. It helps with healing and it helps remind other young people who are present how difficult a thing this is for friends and loved ones to bear. The entire reservation was shook by this tragedy and others that occured within a very short period of time, it was motivating force in enhanced suicide awareness and prevention activities, so badly needed there.

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  14. This has broken my heart. I hope she is at peace. So awfully sad. So young to feel such despair....

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    1. Yes, Selma, that is part of the great tragedy of it. We know from our adult perspective that there is new love to be found, and new reasons to live, but at 14 the loss of a treasured companion can feel like the end of the world, and for her it did. How I wish that life came with at least one or two "do over" buttons, to give us another chance to see it thru!

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  15. I am so sorry! I pray God's peace and comfort for those who have lost this precious child. Silence in this case proved deadly. Parents must talk more with their children to get a sense of what's going on in those young hearts and minds.

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    1. Her family and friends did know that she was struggling Belva, and tried to obtain as much help for her as possible. No one realized the extent of her desperation. Young people tend to keep much of that inside, tragically.

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)