Friday, December 10, 2010
Lately my writing assignments have been “all over the place”. Restaurant reviews, real estate stories, interviewing heads of very important organizations and then there’s the last type-obituaries.
Honestly, I didn’t mind doing the first one-the man seemed like a lovely person who lived a full 88 years of life and shared his goodness with others. I did hate calling his daughters and asking them questions and intruding on their grief-but it had been a week since his passing and they were very gracious to share memories of him with me.
However the second one-I have to say pretty much bummed me out and left me feeling rather heart-heavy. It was on a 20 year old boy. Didn’t even have a chance at making his way in the world. It was sudden and unfortunately preventable. Nothing was confirmed, but I did NOT look up his parents or sisters to question them. Sorry, wasn’t going there-I know they must all be going through more than grief and their own personal hell.
I found myself Googling his name and finding a prayer chain and a page set up on FaceBook for him. It was easy to get the gist of what happened. It was a very sad thing.
After I was through with the internet, I called his high school and talked to his former principal. He likened his school to being an extended family and that this was akin to losing a child. Sigh. I asked if the young man had a special teacher or coach. This led me to his football coach.
It was very hard on this mentor. He said that he and the deceased were as close as some fathers and sons. He felt he had a premonition 2 weeks before and sent a text to the boy’s mom asking how he was doing. His thought was that he needed to find out how he was but didn’t want to come off sounding like another parent. The mom said that he was doing quite well and she was proud of the changes he had been making in his life.
Then, two weeks later-here he was dead. The coach said he felt God had tapped him on the shoulder to prepare for what was about to happen.
There will be no graduation from any type of college or tech school, no marriage, no kids, nothing.
As a parent I feel horrible because as the saying goes-no parent should outlive their child. As a sister who has lost a sibling, I’m teary-eyed because I know far too well about the pain his sisters are feeling and that it will never, ever go away.
When I was done and submitted the story, I found that it didn’t end there for me. Although, really, I wish it had.
But sounds like you're better at it than I ever was.
Dave, I was there w/ the PR person and 3 volunteers. I needed to get a couple of sound bites from donors and pictures.
NO one came during that time! I took pic of the pr/ volunteers and asked how they all found the nonprofit. that had to suffice.
shows that it's not just death that's upsetting.