No one should ever have to bury their child. When that kid is a 21 year incredibly bright student, football and lacrosse player the lost potential tremendously magnifies that loss.
I have been around awhile and accordingly have lost a number of friends and family – but the passing of this friend of my son at age 21 hit me harder than any other. This kid was a phenom on the football field, plowing through opposing offensive lines like they were butter. He was a sensational defenseman in lacrosse, decleating more than one distracted attacker. School wasn’t really his thing, but he did well in an academically tough private school nonetheless. Lots of potential.
He was in a coma when he was admitted to Mission Hospital last week – a coma from which he would never awake. Drugs had not only put him in a coma, they had also impaired most of his other vital organs. When his parents had to make the impossible decision about continuing life support, I wept. Two days later he quietly slipped away.
I have been trying to figure out why this one hit me so hard. Is it that I could easily have been the parent having to make that impossible decision? Is it that this was a bright kid that I had enjoyed watching on the field? Is it that I had to explain to all of my kids what happened?
I finally decided that it was simply the lost potential. Here is a kid that could have literally done just about anything he wanted to with life. Athlete, banker, doctor, lawyer all were possible. Instead he chose the selfish, myopic and ultimately self-destructive path that robbed all of us of his potential. That really pisses me off.