How to Sort Out Tragic Events In PA | Nose Under the Community Tent | Paul Losch | Palo Alto Online |

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By Paul Losch

How to Sort Out Tragic Events In PA

Uploaded: Oct 20, 2009

There has been another Gunn High School student lost by suicide at the Meadow train tracks. The fourth suicide this year, and it would be five had one of them not been averted.

Just a block away from where I live, a young women appears to have died last week due to relationship problems with her boyfriend, or perhaps someone who wanted to be her boyfriend. It was quite a scene last Thursday evening in my neighborhood. I never have seen so many fire engines and police cars.

Many people are weighing in on reports and blogs about these events. And that is a good thing.

Speaking for myself, I feel very confused and conflicted.

I don't know where the incident on Addison and the arrest of the boyfriend will lead. I can report there was and still is an acrid smell on that block, which means a great deal symbolically as well as empiracally.

I don't know what is going on at the Meadow intersection with Caltrain. I can observe that there have been too many deaths in this year on those tracks, all Gunn or to be Gunn students.

Despite my years (I am 55) age-wise, and living in Palo Alto-wise (20+ years,) I cannot sort out recent tragic events in this town that all have led to loss of life.

Maybe it cannot be explained. Maybe ideas for intervention for depressed high schoolers and unhappy lovers provide useful information, but it is not acted on.

I think most of us don't see it or know what to do with it when we do.

A helpless feeling.

After the fact.