Cider Press Hill

Sobering

Sunday, 2:30 pm

A couple of nights ago, I finally called the lad. I hadn’t heard from him since he left for school. While that’s not terribly unusual, I thought I’d remind him that his ole Mom would like to hear from him from time to time. That and clearing up some of the unfinished business he left here all over his room.

The conversation didn’t go quite as I expected. Rather than being immersed in his social whirl, he said he’s been buried in books. As a defense mechanism, apparently. Three of his friends have died in the last three weeks. One perished in an ATV accident two days before he was due to arrive back at school. During the first week of school, one lad just fell over dead in the middle of conversation. Apparently a heart defect that had never been diagnosed. Last week, the third went home ill and passed away in his sleep. No one knows exactly what happened, but the kids think it may have had something to do with his volunteering stint in South America this summer.

Losing three friends in rapid succession is shocking to the system. For anyone. But young people do have a tendency to feel immortal and this has been a particular shock to their systems. I understand that gallows humor abounds and they sit around looking at each other wondering who is going to be next. Losing themselves in school work seems to help.

Well, I’m glad I called. The lad was ready to talk about it and I think he needed that outlet. I’m so sorry for him and his friends. And the families of the boys who died. So tragic and devastating. I know that death is a part of living and everyone experiences it at some point. But not like this or at this age.

It hit the lad and his friends awfully hard. “I never thought about my friends dying, Mom. We’re taking good care of each other now. We never thought about how fragile life is. I miss them.” That’s pretty heavy stuff for a 21 year old. 

Posted by Kate on 09/1408 at 02:30 PM

Ouch.  I remember a spring like that in college.  One dead in a car accident in Ca., another in a plane crash between Tucson and Phoenix (a puddle-jump of 120 miles!).

Intimations of mortality indeed.  My sympathies.

Posted by Linkmeister on 09/14  at  02:34 PM

How awful and how tragic.  My heart goes out to your son--all part of growing up, I suppose, but ever so hard.  Went through something similar in high school, 5 friends were killed in a horrific and unnecessary car accident.......one of my best friends survived, but may or may not have been the driver - no one ever knew for sure--she never had any memory of the accident.  Her sister and a 16 year old boy I was dating, as well as 3 other people I knew were killed as well. I was supposed to have been with them, but one of the few times I decided NOT to defy my mother and I was actually where I was supposed to be.  Very sobering to go to that many wakes and funerals in one week. 
I feel for your son and all his friends.

Posted by cyn on 09/14  at  05:03 PM

Growing up has its ups and downs, no doubt about it. But this is harsh. I must have been one of the fortunate ones who never had to lose a friend prematurely. The lad will be fine, but it really hurts. Wish I could give him a hug.

Posted by Kate on 09/15  at  11:21 PM

Its so hard, when my lad lost his mom(why I raised him) then his sister at the same time hubby moved out (the only dad he ever knew) i wasn’t sure he would be ok.  It took him a semester his freshman year in college before he pulled through.  Ended up on academic probation that semester, but I wasn’t mad at all, just relieved he actually finished.  Big hugs to both of you!

Posted by canyoncottage on 09/16  at  04:44 PM