We Send Our Condolences to Star Valley

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We Send Our Condolences to Star Valley

Photo by Robert Ostheimer

Photo by Robert Ostheimer

Photo by Robert Ostheimer

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On Thursday a freshman boy from Star Valley died doing something that I have done and seen done more times than I can count.

When someone dies it is always painful, but it is even more painful when it is a child. Like I said earlier, I’ve pulled the same stunt. It never went wrong, but I guess that’s always how it is. Nothing goes wrong until everything does. Then everything changes. For his parents, life will never be the same. For the students that were with him the accident will be forever imprinted on their memories, and nothing can ever change that. No amount of prayers or money or love can change the fact that he’s gone, but maybe it can lessen the blow of losing him.

I can’t pretend to know the boy who died. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a child, or a best friend, or a teammate, therefore I don’t know what they’re going through. But I do know about pain. That’s the thing about pain, it doesn’t have a beginning or a middle or an end. The stages of grief are a guideline, but they don’t capture the depth of the tragedy that befell the Star Valley community.

Lives end, people die, and many of them die far too soon. The best thing we can do for those we leave in the past is to remember them. The boy who died won’t age; he will stay 14 forever. I believe that’s the true tragedy of death, that it ends everything before it has a chance to start. He will never graduate high school. He will never go to state marching band. He will never marry. Every plan that anyone had that involved him has to be rewritten.

Pain tends to outshine everything else in the world, and when in pain, time tends to slow to a crawl. But even in the midst of a tragedy such as the one that befell Star Valley there is joy. There has to be. Slowly things will return to normal, or as normal as it can get. There isn’t a timeline of grief but there are stages, and the last stage is acceptance. Accepting what happened, accepting that life will never be exactly the same, and accepting that the pain will end and there will, eventually, be joy in your life after a tragedy.

CHS Bonfire and Cody High School send our sincerest condolences to the family of the boy, Lincoln County High School, and the Star Valley community as a whole.