Modern technology has changed a lot of things since 1982, but a child’s grief is not one of them
Opinion by Tim Shirer
Almost 37 years ago my brother Tom passed away in swimming accident while we were on vacation. Tom was 15 and not only was I and my family changed by his death forever but so were my brother’s friends and classmates, the Wickliffe class of 1984. I hold a special place in my heart as they have always made me know my brother Tom was loved by them and how deeply his death affected them. To this day when I see one of my brother’s classmates, they are always kind and speak of Tom and it warms my heart. They will never know how much they mean to myself and my family.
A lot has changed in since 1982. Modern technology is amazing, my bother couldn’t even imagine some of the things our kids have nowadays and the technology that in most cases makes their life easier than ours was back in the days where we had a black and white TV in our room and an Atari game system.
But we are now in 2019 with iPhone, iPad, laptop computers, smart TV’s, PS4’s and everything else that makes our lives a little easier most of the time. But one thing hasn’t changed, how fragile life is and that it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.
Last night our small community of Wickliffe was rocked by another tragedy and loss of a high school student in the prime of his young life. A good young man, who was just living life, gone with no notice. My heart goes out to his parents, there is nothing that can be said to help heal their heart with the loss of their beautiful child. My heart goes out to his classmates, who, just like back in 1982 must deal with the loss of their friend, their classmate only three and a half months before they complete high school. The grief is real to this generation of kids that bury themselves in their phones, PS4’s and other electronic device to shut out the real world. But none of those devices can change this terrible event. Sadly, they still will have to grieve as did the WHS class of 1984 when my brother Tom passed away.
One grandmother said she is helpless, because she can’t help fix it and take the grief away from her grandson who was good friends with the young man who was taken to soon. I know that she is hurting, because she can’t fix it, because she is a fixer, that’s what she does. She is a fixer who cares for everyone around her, but this time, there’s nothing she can do to fix it, but love her grandson and make him know his love for his friend mattered in his friend’s short life.
I talked with my son Tommy and tried to say what I thought I should say, but I don’t know if it helped. I know he has cried a few times today and that is good. But not all the kids will cry. Please watch your kids, let them know that you care what they have to say and if they want to talk about it, you will listen. If you are a parent nothing is more precious than your child, I don’t have to tell any parent that.
But it’s amazing with all the technology in the world today there is no easy fix for grief. R.I.P A.N.
Posted 03/03/2019 16:46