The young man, just beginning his life of responsibility, left behind grieving parents, sisters, a grandmother, cousins and a girlfriend. The middle-aged man left behind a wife, three children, parents, siblings, and cousins. The accident was tragic for both families. The wife, now a widow and single parent, had been a stay at home mom. She was now faced with the loss of her husband, the father of her children, the loss of income, and companionship. Thankfully, I did not work the father’s case. I think it would have been too heartbreaking to bear. I did, however, work the young man’s case. It was indeed heartbreaking, but I did not have to look into the eyes of youngsters and try to explain the loss of their dad. I did not have to mourn for the experiences they would miss growing up without him in their lives. I did not have to tell them that their lives would forever be changed, that they would be losing their home, that their dad would never come home from work ever again, that their mom would be leaving them at home from now on as she must find and maintain a substantial income to support them. There were a number of difficult tasks that I would not have to perform for this grieving family. Sometimes funeral directors are thankful for the cases they do not have to work.
The young man’s family was heartbroken. It was a tragic accident, and his younger siblings did not understand why they would never see their older brother again. His parents were crushed at his loss. I saw his little sisters and his parents this weekend at the supermarket. Their heartache remains an open wound. They perform their daily tasks of life, but their hearts are absent. They are cautious and protect themselves from those who bring pain into their lives. They have suffered enough already.
Recklessness is dangerous not only the reckless person but to those around him/her. In this case, the father on his way to work did not choose to be around a reckless young man texting while driving. He innocently lost his life. The parents of the young man, who caused this tragic accident, live with the guilt that their son caused the death of a responsible family man and through his reckless behavior, changed the course of lives for his children and wife. I see it in their eyes. They cannot hide it. Not only do they suffer the heartbreak of losing their beloved son, but they also carry a burden of shame for his actions. The tragedy of losing their son will remain with them for their rest of their lives. The burden of his recklessness will make it forever unbearable.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.