Wednesday, April 22, 2020
A Life. A Death.
Two very close friends of mine buried their 18-year-old son yesterday.
How do you follow that sentence with anything more to say?
How do you reconcile the juxtaposition of those words, ones none of us would ever expect to utter?
A car is driving during the day on I-95, a well-traveled road used by tens of millions of drivers up and down the East Coast. Only this was no ordinary drive. Mix in some rain and the rare split-second moment of hydroplaning, and suddenly you have a deadly cocktail.
A car loses control, hits a barrier, and the jaws of life are needed. Luckily another son, the one driving, survived with barely any physical evidence of a crash. But the unseen mental scars are there, posing for now as a seemingly insurmountable enemy. Hopefully time and therapy will help. It wasn’t his fault. Life and death just happen.
His brother, unfortunately, suffered severe injuries. Spinal chord damage impacted his brain, breathing, and heart. These injuries would lead to the loss of a precious, gifted life less than a week later.
No parent should ever have to experience the loss of a child. Filled with such promise, on the cusp of being in the prime of his life, this young man with a wonderful sense of humor and a big heart will only live in our memories now.
I know this boy’s dad, mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmother. I knew him to be a terrific person. I attended his bris and bar mitzvah. He would have graduated high school in just a few months. So many dreams that should have been allowed to breathe on fertile ground will now remain permanently silenced.
We just never think such a day will come, not for our kids nor ourselves.
Sure we know we are not invincible and we understand life doesn’t go on forever for anyone. But we somehow think it is not happening today, not to us nor those we know and love. But the truth is we should count on it and bank on death as our fate. There is an end to each of us; we just don’t know how or when. But we all believe, hope, and demand that 18 years is not a reasonable, justifiable, fair amount of time on this planet.
The boy’s father told me that losing a parent is horrible, but that it is like a drop of water in the sea compared to losing your own child. And you can fill an ocean with tears over this loss.
I last saw the boy a few months ago when he and a friend came to stay with me. They were looking at local colleges in New York City. He spoke of his bright future with excitement as well as a balanced sense of reality and confidence that always seemed to serve him well. He was an old soul.
We want to learn from this, but how?
We want to turn the clock back, but we can't.
We want to forget we ever heard of this, but that isn't possible..
We just want to go back to living a dream..
But, alas, it is real, oh so real, and devastating, and sad, and painful, and every negative emotional state one can think of.
His organs were donated, and so in death, he was able to give life to others. And in life, he was able to give comfort, joy, and support to so many. But all of those people whom he touched -- and there were many -- wish he were here to help fill the void they feel from his departure.
We hear “life isn’t fair.” Neither is death.
Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.