Father of Parkland shooting victim shares son's poem: 'Life is like a roller coaster ... eventually it all comes to a stop'
The father of one of the victims of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, school shared a heartbreaking poem his son wrote just weeks before his death.
Max Schachter read a free verse poem written by his 14-year-old son, Alex, one of the 17 victims in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, during his son's eulogy.
"Two weeks ago, Alex was assigned a poem for a literary fair," Schachter said. "He decided to write about roller coasters because Alex loved roller coasters. He wasn't writing about his life and had no idea that his poem would become his future."
The free-verse poem, titled "Life Is Like A Roller Coaster," is heartbreaking in retrospect. In the short piece, Alex described how throughout life, we experience multiple ups and downs, but that our friends and family act like the safety bar that holds us in.
The teen's poem then takes a somber and somewhat foretelling turn.
"Eventually it all comes to a stop," Alex wrote. "You won't know when, or how, but you will know that it will be time to get off and start anew."
Schachter, who has been outspoken about the need for tighter gun control laws since his son's death, continued on in the eulogy to describe how lawmakers played a major role in his son's 'roller coaster.'
"Our elected lawmakers are a big part of the bar of our life's roller coaster," he continued. "Don't just start anew and repeat the failures of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Act now and hear the cries of our community. No child and no family should ever have to experience this because of someone else's failure to protect us."
Read the poem in its entirety below:
Life Is Like A Roller Coaster
A Free Verse Poem By Alex Schachter
Life is like a roller coaster
It has some ups and downs
Sometimes you can take it slow
Or very fast
It may be hard to breathe at times
But you just have to push yourself
And keep going
Your bar is your safety
It's like your family and friends
You hold on tight and don't let go
But sometimes you might throw your hands up
Because your friends and family will always be with you
Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times
It may be too much for you at times
The upside downs,
But you get back up
And keep chugging along
Eventually it all comes to a stop
You won't know when
But you will know that it will be time to get off
And start anew.
Life is like a roller coaster.