Over the weekend, while still in Las Vegas, I got an email from Ann at the station. The son of one of our former co-workers had been tragically killed in a car accident. I guess saying ‘tragically’ is redundant – but you can’t be too sad in a situation like this.
Even today, nearly a week after the fact, the details are sketchy. He was a passenger in a car with two others. They missed a curve and plunged into the Housatonic River in Northwest Connecticut. The other two survived, though not without medical consequences.
How can a parent live through this? I can’t even begin to imagine the pain – and yet tonight at the wake the father was steadfast and stronger than I could ever imagine. Maybe it was the fact that he had been seeing and hugging people for four hours before I got there? Maybe the pain comes in stages?
Even though it had been at least ten years since I’d seen the dad, it didn’t make any difference. This is what adults do in a situation like this – you go. I wanted him to know my thoughts were with him. I was not alone.
It is very difficult for me to deal with an open coffin, yet there was the son. I turned away as best I could. It wasn’t a totally effective move.
When I spoke to the father, he tallked about his faith, and the faith of his son. There was a certainty he was in a good place. I am jealous of that kind of unquestioning faith – a faith I don’t have. If it’s possible to make something like this easier to take, that would be the way.
The older I get, the more I have to deal with stuff like this. It’s a part of growing up I never considered.