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My Words Are Small

I just found out the father of one of my students was killed Saturday.  His truck stalled on railroad tracks.  He got his son out, but didn't get himself out of the way in time.  The train hit his truck, and the truck hit him.  His son had only minor injuries.

That son--he's my student--is the oldest of three kids.  My secretary and I were talking about the family this evening, wondering why the boy wasn't in class tonight.  The family has had a rough time of it in the last six months, but things were finally smoothing out.  I still remember the man's kindness and optimism as he waved and said goodnight last Friday.  He was so proud his son had just been promoted to his next belt.  He was happy, smiling for his children and his wife.  He was only 32.

The viewing is Thursday.  I'm trying to figure out something we can do with the dojo to be of service.

I just...  I just can't hardly think.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
What a truly horrible thing to happen. I'm so, so sorry.
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:44 am (UTC)
I'm just *shocked.* I can't imagine what his wife and kids are going through. I mean, when I lost Ron, we knew it was coming. But to lose a man so young, so unexpectedly... Yes, I can say that must be so much worse to face.
Sep. 10th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
For it to be such a totally unexpected event has to make it even worse.
Sep. 10th, 2014 04:55 am (UTC)
Oh, how awful; I'm so very sorry to hear.
Sep. 10th, 2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
I'm passing the word around dojo folks this morning. The number of offers to help the family is heartening.
Sep. 10th, 2014 11:34 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry.

Don't hesitate to ask if there's a rotation for making soup/hotdish/etc. for the family. With young kids in the mix, that poor woman is going to be so overwhelmed, and the immediate aftermath is going to go away faster than she expects. That would be of service for sure. Even those of the dojo people who don't cook could bring over a rotisserie chicken (or takeout stir-fry if the family is vegetarian) if they were willing to take a turn.

Alternately, with fall coming on, if they live in a house instead of a condo or apartment, there could be a dojo fall yard cleanup day for that family, where everybody pitches in to get the leaves and things taken care of, if no one else is doing that. If it's a small yard and a large dojo group, this could easily segue into a quiet word in the widow's ear--"anything need doing inside? vacuuming, cleaning the tub?"--and letting her say what's piled up at that point.
Sep. 10th, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
Those are both wonderful and helpful suggestions. Thank you.

I've a message out to a community person who seems to be the one coordinating things for the family, so we'll see where we can fit in.
Sep. 10th, 2014 12:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is so horrible. I am so very sorry for that family, and all who knew the man.
Sep. 10th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
He was such a gentle man with his kids, and so quick to smile for everyone.
Sep. 10th, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
That's awful, I'm so sorry for everyone.

mrissa's suggestions sound like good ones. I was going to suggest something similar in lines of food, since grieving families tend to get a lot of food all at once and then everyone forgets about it except them. Also, things like if someone wants to go around once a week or every other week to help with things like laundry or vacuuming that might get put to the wayside, or even helping with carpools if other people have kids going to the same school/daycare/other location.
Sep. 11th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions!

After talking with some folks at the dojo, I think what we'll be doing is setting up a sort of monthly pitch-in group with a coordinator to see what different things the widow might need. We'll start off with a six-month commitment and see how things are going for the family in the spring.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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