My son died unexpectedly recently and far too soon. He was 31 years old.

His death took a toll on the lives he left behind, and I will never get over the heartache. Granted, I will have memories to fall back on, and smile when I think of my loving son, but he is gone, and life as I knew it will never be the same.

Thankfully, I had a huge support system standing beside me. My family and friends held me up when I needed it the most, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Lately, I hear about young men and women who have taken their lives because of situations they felt they could not handle. Whatever the reasons behind such a tragedy, nobody will ever know except the person living with the confusion in their own world.

I wish they would understand that there is always hope that lingers in days to follow. While today may seem bleak to them, tomorrow the sun may shine and the outcome might not look as grim.

They too have a support system in their loved ones if they only found the courage to reach out and realize they are not alone. An ear to listen, a hand to hold, and a simple smile may make all the difference in the world.

Everyone needs to feel important and special in his or her own skin, and needs someone who won’t turn their backs on them.

When they think they are at their final chapter, there is another page to turn. They are too young for the story to end so suddenly.

There is hope. There is love. And there is life.

Sandra Pelletier