January 3, 2008


A local high school girls basketball coach died last week from complications treating acute leukemia. His students did what most high school kids do in this situation, they spelled out “We Love You Coach [Name]” in styrofoam cups stuffed in the chainlink fench and went about trying to make sense of their own grief and how they will deal with the rest of the sport season.

Normally, I would simply feel sad, send a silent prayer out to the family and keep going. But something was different this time. Something bothered me about this more than usual, so I decided to look up this coach’s obituary in the paper to see if I could make sense of this.

As it turns out, I had met him. And his wife. And his entire family though I never knew their name. His oldest daughter (5) was in dance class with The Swimmy. I began to realize that he left behind daughters ages 5, 3 and a little boy named his junior who is only 2 months old. The mom is a teacher, they have enormous extended friends and family.

But the thought of this mom having to lose her husband, deal with two grieving daughters so young and a little boy who will never know his dad is crushing to me. Intrinsically I know that, if that were me, as a mom I would have to rise to the occassion and deal with the awful situation to help my kids. But as I allow myself to consider that position there is a huge part of me that thinks I never could. And that is so utterly unnerving that I have no words to describe it.

Hey, look at me. No words.

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4 Responses to “Unstrong”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Except of course – if tipped into that situation – you would deal with it. Most of us are stronger than we think – we just (thankfully) don’t have to be.

  2. Jen Says:

    How awful. Now that I have a child, stories such as this often get to me as well. I have been faced with losing my husband, and it is devastating just to even THINK about it.

  3. Chris Says:

    As a father, that scenario scares the hell out of me.

  4. Sarah Says:

    How awful. I’m sorry.
    I’m not married, don’t have kids, and don’t know the family you speak of, but man, that just sucks.