Being overwhelmed, sad and anxious Junior year made Dominik withdraw not only from attending school, but also from the companionship of his friends.
When someone would ask what was going on or where he’d been, he would say: “I’m dealing with some stuff”, or “I can’t tell you right now”.
Sometimes, he’d try to explain with his characteristic sense of humor. This text is his response to a classmate who noticed his prolonged absence from Gonzaga.
His depression made him feel isolated, dazed and alone.
For Dominik, the hopeful movement back toward fullness of life came through the most human experiences: fresh air and sunshine, pizza, attentive doctors, understanding educators and the intense prayers and daily care of the family and community that surrounded him.
“Every day in Chem class Dom would walk in with a huge smile on his face and his hand cocked back and would say ‘Dap me up, C.’ Then he would proceed to do the same thing with every person in our class, searching for the one that would make the loudest pop. Every day Junior year Dom would repeat this ritual, until he got his appendix surgery…. During this tough time for Dom, his attendance was off and on, and eventually he stopped coming altogether. Our entire class missed Dom so much for the few months he was gone. We lacked something without him.” –Gonzaga Classmate