December 23, 2017

Editorial: Connor’s conversation

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The greatest scourge of a season dedicated to joy and goodwill is the untimely death of a loved one — a heartache multiplied beyond measure when that passing is a child’s. That unspeakable grief has befallen Sutton’s Jason and Teresa Tronerud, who laid their teenage son to rest on Dec. 11.

Yet in a poignant ode to their kind, high-achieving child, the obituary dispensed with the usual “passed unexpectedly” or “died after a short illness” qualifiers. Instead, it offered us the necessary gifts of courage, candor and a call to action:

“Connor Francis Tronerud, 15, took his own life on Monday, December 4th, 2017, after struggling with bullying from peers.”

So stark and straightforward — and so rarely acknowledged in public.

We are in no way implying that grief-stricken families are obligated to share such personal details, especially in the immediate aftermath of a tragic loss. But the Troneruds’ brave statement accomplished something the typically opaque announcement of a young person’s death could not:

It started an international conversation. Hopefully, it will continue to build momentum toward fully acknowledging and resolving two of the biggest threats to today’s youth.

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