Japanese tsunami follows first emotional one….

As I watch CNN coverage of the tsunami resulting from an 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit northern Japan, I am spreading my prayers between those impacted there and in Hawaii where the waves then headed – and with the families of two girls in Detroit.

Today, I am watching footage that seems to come from a movie – “The Day After Tomorrow,” “2012” – pick your disaster.

Last night, I got the call that put words in my head I can’t stop hearing:  My friend’s 14-year-old came home from school to tell her that a 15-year-old classmate had committed suicide.

15 years old.

Her teen got that news right after the news that another classmate, also 14, had run away with an older man – not a boy, not a classmate, but a man. And the teen’s mother had not even reported her missing.

What is happening to our children that their sadness so overwhelms them that they feel death or unspeakable risk is their only way out?

I don’t remember being particularly happy at 15; I didn’t like where I lived. I didn’t feel attractive, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t allowed to date (not for another three years).

But I knew that I was loved, and I enjoyed school and reading and all the activities I participated in during my years in school. I stayed too busy to think about being sad.

Even my parents’ divorce and the realization that I’d probably never see my father again wasn’t enough to take me off my path.

I never thought about quitting. I never, ever thought about dying. Or catching the first guy who could take me away from it all.

I’m praying for the people of northern Japan, where hundreds have died – and for the people of Hawaii who are battling the resulting tsunami.

But I’m also praying for three Detroit families: one who has lost a daughter, one who is missing a daughter and one whose daughter is grieving for people whose lives were so much sadder than hers.