July 9, 2007

Reflecting on Rites of Passage

Our community has suffered a loss.

It's a sad day in such a small community when a young man loses his life in something so 'normal.' A young, healthy kid with his whole life ahead of him is gone because of something my own husband confesses to doing at that same age: Driving fast on a road with a big 'dip' in it.

They say the kids weren't wearing their seat belts. David explains that it probably made the 'feeling' even better when they hit their first big 'dip' in the road. 'All the kids were doing it' was his best guess. All of his friends were taking that same rite of passage twenty years ago, as far as he knows, probably as long as that same road has been there. They don't know for sure, but aren't even believing that alcohol played any role in the tragedy. No alcohol, no other cars....just a couple of bored teenagers looking for a little adrenaline to spice up their Saturday night. They weren't out to harm anyone or anything in their outing, just to do the same exact thing that so many others have done before them.

It's something I'm now afraid of my own children doing one day. The 'mama bear' in me wants to take the road away. Block it off. Put in speed bumps that would actually force them to slow down, as opposed to giving them more 'air.' Just end this 'rite of passage' as it is.

But, what would life be without these rights of passage?

So many lives are forever changed by this one silly night. This one little 'adventure' that took a wrong turn. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

I'm at a loss for anything else to say. What else can you say when something like this happens?


Kari said...

We have that same sort of road here that every 16 year old has driven. It's not a dip, but a straightaway with lots of hills to get lots of air on. I don't know anyone as of yet that has died driving down it, but then again, I don't read the paper. I'm sorry for your loss and the mixed feelings you're having. It's a mother's right to want to stop everything in their path from getting hurt, but if it won't be that road, it will be another one.

Anonymous said...

Feeling the loss of a teenager is a horrid experience. Losing my niece scarred me in a way that changed who I am. I had 7 months to get prepared that I would lose her, and yet the amount of pain I felt was indescribable. Worse still, the family's of these teenagers had no warning. From one day to the next they received an anomous blow to their hearts. I grieve for the lose, not just of their child, but of the ease in which they may have been living life. For now that will all change. Life will present itself as it truly is, as fragile as a butterflies wing.

wildtomato said...

How tragic. Those kids were just doing what kids do. It makes me think of the few kids who have passed on from my high school days. So sad.

Anonymous said...

That is so heartbreaking. So many kids are out getting into trouble for "fun" and this seemingly harmless fun has destroyed a family. My thoughts are with you and your community...