Hello! After Christmas a friend who lives in suburban Seattle mentioned a horrific accident that befelled the family of a former student of hers: father, mother, two daughters (one of whom is the former student), son-in-law (husband of her former student) and son were all together in the parents' car on an outing in Washington state just a few days before Christmas. Suddenly a tree fell on their car, crushing it. The parents were instantly killed. My friend's former student and her husband both suffered head injuries, while the other daughter may not walk again due to her injuries. The son, the youngest in the family, escaped with only minor injuries, which sounds like a blessing - but he then would have been the one to have to plan for his parents' burial, and now has to cope with seeing his sisters and brother-in-law struggle to regain whatever faculties they can. The term "survivor's guilt" may very well fit him.
Shortly before Christmas, I'd been moping about the 2nd anniversary of my mom's death approaching - she had died on Christmas Eve in 2010. Upon hearing of what had happened to the family of my friend's former student, I realized that they, too, would never look at Christmas the same way again - but they had gone through something even worse.
Although I didn't know the family, I told my friend I'd send a card to the brother if she could get an address for him. She recently complied, so I will send out this card:
It is admittedly simple in design and message, but I feel a simple card is best when I don't know the recipient. The family may think it odd to get a card from a stranger, though of course I will explain how I learned of them. I don't know if anything I could say would ease the pain and difficulties that face the family, but I figure that it doesn't hurt to try.