Shannon Goyette (left) and Cynthia Pierce became friends when their children were in kindergarten. Both mothers lost a son to suicide.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

After suicides in Acton and Boxborough, a communion of sorrow

The unthinkable has been an all-too-common companion in two small neighboring towns, where six young people took their lives in the short span of 30 months. The questions keep coming: What is happening? And why? And when will it stop?By Mark Arsenault

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/AFP_1B813P-9664.jpg Matt Damon made a bunch of Boston references while hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’

In his second stint hosting the show, the Cambridge native bragged about how wonderful the holiday season can be in his hometown.

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Portsmouth, N.H. The assertion that

Giuliani says Mueller will interview Trump ‘over my dead body’

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s attorney, is ruling out a presidential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Politics/Images/abc0afb32c5d4623af0ce288c813db62-abc0afb32c5d4623af0ce288c813db62-0.jpg Susan Collins says there’s ‘absolutely no excuse to shut down government’

Senator Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, said a government shutdown must be prevented, as President Trump and Democrats tussle over funding for a possible border wall.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/1067066856-8105.jpg Warren tackles race issues on road to any 2020 run

She’s highlighting ties to black leaders and emphasizing her work on legislation that would probably appeal to black Democrats.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics professor Jonathan Gruber testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his work on the Affordable Care Act in the Rayburn House Office building on Capitol Hill December 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. Gruber, who was a consultant paid by the authors of the Affordable Care Act and the Massachusetts universal health care program, called voters stupid and said that Obamacare would not have passed if lawmakers had really known what was inside the legislation during an academic conference earlier this year. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OPINION | JONATHAN GRUBER

Affordable Care Act ruling puts health of Americans — and our democracy — at risk

The ruling is ridiculous, but the case will likely head to the US Supreme Court, which does not represent anything close to the mainstream legal view on matters such as this.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Year in Arts

The Year in Arts: The best in music, dance, television, art, theater

From Ariana Grande to art in the #MeToo era, plus Globe critics’ Top 10 picks in TV, music, theater, art, and dance for 2018.

Travel

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Travel/Images/IMG_4890.jpg For food lovers, Vermont needs to be a getaway go-to

Four favorite spots near popular resorts for a date night that requires nothing fancier than clogs with warm socks.

IDEAS | THOMAS LEVENSON

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Ideas/Images/fires.png ‘Reasonable doubt’ on climate change is killing the planet

Honest climate scientists acknowledge the limits of their work. But like defense lawyers in a TV drama, President Trump uses any flicker of doubt to let climate change go scot-free.

Jeff Feccia was a welcome sight delivering trees in South Boston.

Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe

That perfect tree is just a few clicks away

Online ordering and Internet-enabled sales strategies are transforming the Christmas tree trade for both tree sellers and their customers.

spotlight fellow report

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/GettyImages-841583078-23947.jpg TSA says it no longer tracks regular travelers as if they may be terrorists

TSA officials said that the “Quiet Skies” surveillance program, which documented minor movements and behavior of some passengers, was scaled back after a Globe investigation.

BOSTON, MA - 11/19/2018: Fog and rain cover the city skyline in a blanket from the view of the Charles River, BU Bridge, Boston. Obstructed are downtown , 200 Clarendon ( John Hancock Tower ), Prudendtial and one Dalton on right.(David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC stand alone photo

dave epstein

Rain could be heavy at times in Boston, and some areas may see a little snow

A storm will bring potentially heavy rain, with some places, especially to the north and west, seeing some snow.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1055746100.jpg Section of wrap depicting 2018 World Series flag stolen from Fenway Park

A piece of a wrap around a fence near the park commemorating the recent Red Sox title was missing this morning, but it’s been recovered.

Dan Shaughnessy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/shaughnessy-25023.jpg Simply put, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have had the Steelers’ number

Despite its pedigree, Pittsburgh is just another team that loses it at the sight of Brady and Belichick.

Pittsburgh, PA 12-17-17: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7), after his faked spike move, throws a pass to wide reciever Eli Rogers (not pictured) in the end zone that would end up being tipped by the Patriots Eric Rowe (not pictured) and intercepted by New England's Duron Harmon (not pictured), wrapping up the win for the Patriots. The New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers for an NFL regular season football game. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Patriots at Steelers | 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Patriots’ keys to victory over the Steelers

Here’s the rundown on Sunday’s matchup.

Boston, MA, 12/16/2018 -- Firefighters evacuate a volunteer who was playing the role of a victim who was caught in a train that had derailed during an MBTA emergency response exercise near Fenway Station on the Green Line. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: Reporter:

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Only a drill: MBTA simulates mass-casualty on Green Line

A federally mandated exercise simulated a mass-casualty incident on the Green Line on Sunday morning, centered around Fenway on the D branch.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/28/BostonGlobe.com/Regional/Images/Belmont7-12HighSchoolA.jpg Tax hikes spur worries for older homeowners

Costly new projects in Belmont, Needham, and other towns could price some elderly out of their homes. Are there ways to ease the burden?

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/15/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/tlumackifirefighterfuneral023.jpg ‘Worcester martyr’ is laid to rest, and a city mourns

A funeral Mass was said Saturday for Christopher Roy, 36, who died Dec. 9 while battling a five-alarm blaze in Worcester.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/lee121518harvestcup7MET(2).jpg With marijuana shops open, pot convention gets serious

Less than a month after the debut of legal marijuana sales in the commonwealth, thousands descended on Worcester for the second annual Harvest Cup.

Podcasts

Special reports

Globe Magazine

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/01/BostonGlobe.com/Magazine/Images/laura1104alt-4761.jpg Help was a few feet away. Why didn’t they save her?

My wife, Laura Levis, did everything she could to save herself when the asthma attack began. She went to Somerville Hospital and called 911, too. How could she have been left to die just outside the emergency room?

Newsletters

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/30/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/its-all-downhill-24504.jpg It’s All Downhill

A weekly skiing e-mail with news and reviews from the slopes of New England and beyond. Sign up here.

The Big Picture

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The Big Picture

Globe staff photos of the month: November 2018

Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month: a colorful sunrise, Christmas tree lightings, and high school sports.

STAT

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/National/Images/PurduePharma_AP_070508016865-1024x576.jpg Appeals court rules that secret OxyContin documents must be released

A Kentucky appeals court side with STAT, upholding a ruling ordering the release of Purdue Pharma records about the marketing of the opioid OxyContin.

Love Letters: The Podcast

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/08/29/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/200_love_letters_bonus.jpg Love Letters: Until next year, my sweetheart

In a special bonus episode, Meredith Goldstein explores what happens to summer romance when the summer ends, and “Wet Hot American Summer” creator David Wain shares a girl-crazy memory from his own camp days.

Listen:   Apple Podcasts   |   Stitcher   |   RadioPublic