Lloyd Jeck

Compelling thoughts urge me to acknowledge, and write something about, the recent highway tragedy involving the young Bronco hockey team in Saskatchewan. The multitude of people who will be emotionally affected by this unusually horrific accident will never be accurately tallied. The news of the lives lost and those seriously injured cuts deeply into the emotional structure of even the hardiest soul. It is often very difficult to comfort the grievers with appropriate words. I am not a professional councillor but, having lost two sons during my period of time as a father, I do have countless years of experience as a griever. My wife and I raised four children, two girls and two boys. The brothers were in the middle and less than two years apart. The youngest lad, as a result of an accident, died thirteen days after his seventeenth birthday, nearly 39 years ago. He did make some bad choices that fateful day but the greatest portion of the blame falls directly on my shoulders. I remember at the time I instantly loaded myself with a visioned 97% of the blame. As the weeks and months went by I realized that there were a number of others who could easily be factored into the blame equation. In sharing out the events and possible reasons for the death of my son I ended up hanging 65% on my shoulders and the load has not become any lighter. But back to the main point brought up in the first paragraph - how to choose comforting words. What helped me a lot was when people actually mentioned my son's name and said something about him. Or even asked questions about him, but did not shy away from mentioning the boy’s name. After all, it is because of the deceased or injured that comforter and griever have met, so include that very important name in the conversation. The news of the Bronco hockey team accident brought to me an overwhelming flow of grief. So many young lives snuffed out or seriously injured and, for each one of those beautiful people, there would be parents and siblings, plus countless others, suffering extreme emotional pain. In remembering my own pain of so many years ago and then again only just last year when our older son died, I sat there in my chair and cried for everyone. I thought old men were not supposed to cry - but it happens.

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