Thursday, October 20, 2005

Farewell Scott . . .

This is the hardest post that I have ever written. A close and valuable friend of my older son lost his life to despair on Tuesday night. I cannot begin to describe the sense of grief, anguish, bewilderment – and yes, anger – that has descended over Scott’s family and friends, certainly including my son, over this loss.

Scott was a high school history teacher, laid off for budgetary reasons last spring. He was also in the midst an especially venomous marriage breakup. Things were definitely not going Scott’s way, and it is easy to see how he’d feel trapped in a whirlpool that was pulling him irretrievably under.

But Scott really had a lot of things going for him; he was an active, friendly, and curious man, and an athlete, a Big Ten football player in fact. It is regrettable that Scott could not see the effect that tearing his life out by the roots would have on those around him. It might have made him feel less alone.

Scott was a little older than my son; he was a kind of older brother and mentor who shared a love of history with him. They used to visit battlefields, historic places, and collect historical artifacts together. The loss to my own son is incalculable, which as a parent wounds me greatly. The loss to Scott’s parents and family is unimaginable.

I have always thought that the Frank Capra movie It’s a Wonderful Life, with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, was kind of corny and maudlin. Any more, I am not so sure. Scott surely could have used a guardian angel Clarence. Now, I think the movie is more of a cautionary tale, telling us all to be Clarence whenever we can.

There probably won't be any more posting for a while.

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