When Sydney Aiello got away with her life after the shooting that left 17 of her teachers and fellow students dead, many thought she was one of the luckiest people alive. Physically, this may have been the case, but psychologically, she had a terrible burden to bear. So much so that the 19-year-old teenager made the drastic decision to end her own life months after the horrifying incident.
Her death adds to the number of lives that can be linked to the gunman who decided to open fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Her mother helped shed light on what was going on in the teenager’s life before she finally gave in to her burden. At first, she struggled with survivor’s guilt, and she was also grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder several months after the incident.
But on the face of it, she seemed tough and went on to attend college. Her mother says that even though she did not admit it, the experience weighed on her as it reminded her of being in a classroom, which she obviously associates with the most traumatizing experience of her life.
Among the close friends, she lost during the massacre was Meadow Pollack, whose father entered the limelight when he emotionally called on the authorities to put in place stricter school safety at the White House a couple of days after the incident. He did not petition for stricter gun laws in America.
Later on, many students at the institution turned their grief into activism. And out of this movement, attention was placed on personalities like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez, who were emerging as crusaders for a course that would see less of such incidents in the future.
However, a majority of survivors continued to suffer in silence, which is what happened with Sydney Aiello. It shows the depth of the tragedy the school witnessed, and how deep its impact was even months after it happened.
Alaina’s parent, who lost his daughter during the shooting, has concerns that more students might decide to take their own lives just like Sydney did. At the moment, he is focusing on suicide prevention as a way to channel his grief and help the survivors deal with this traumatic experience.
He advises parents to ask questions and not to wait too long.
No sooner had the incident taken place than a GoFundMe page was set up to help Sydney’s parents pay for her memorial services.
The page speaks in glowing terms of the life that has been lost way too early. It says that she was a beloved daughter, sister, and friend to many. The page goes on to say that she had a full life, participating in yoga, cheerleading, and bringing joy into the lives of others.
Her dream was to work in the medical field so that she could help other people in need. She will always be loved and missed.