Old memories are stirred up, and with them come the emotions of the time and place. In the case of the recent sudden death of a young teen in my town, there is shock and disbelief. I can not imagine the pain his family must be feeling right now. Out of the blue kind of passing. A truly lovely young man who was a joy to know. Quiet, sensitive, kind, positive, happy, polite. Focused on his future. Death makes no sense, and neither do our reactions to it.
The rumor mill makes me feel sick. There is a natural curiosity to ask about what happened, but people seem to press for details and clarification as though it makes a difference why this person passed. Does it really? There are no answers at this time, and no clues either, for that matter. The stories I am hearing second hand from people I know make me feel ill. I wonder how they'd feel if it was their child or relative who died suddenly? Would they want people who don't know them theorizing about such a monumental loss and telling untrue stories?
Yes, there have been so, so many sad deaths in our town related to drugs with young people. Too many, and it is horrific. In my years teaching I think I have seen more than a dozen students pass from drug related deaths. I see them when I go to my parents' graves at the cemetery. It is heartbreaking, tragic, and feels wasteful of life. Too many kids turn to drugs, and too many kids can get them. But not all deaths are drug related.
The cause of death of the young man that is being waked today has not been determined. There is no reason. There is no story. There are only rumors that can hurt the family, and I think it is terrible and unnecessary. I have heard rumors that paint a picture of this young man that simply isn't true. People, please stop passing along theories that make you feel good to say but have zero evidence. Thank you.
Maybe it is because if we think we know the whys of a death we can understand it and it won't happen to us or someone we love. We fear the Death Monster so greatly in our lives that any bit of understanding helps us cope with the idea that this is everyone's final destination. Surmising the "why" of a sudden death helps us understand the nature of death itself. In this case, though, we need to just accept it, grieve it, and hope the family finds peace in the face of such a tragic loss.
Today and tomorrow are difficult days. They are not cushioned by gossip. Hug your children, everyone.