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The Death of a Contact

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Flash, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    The story of the hockey player dying in Italy has hit rather close to home. When I was stationed in B.C., I wrote many stories on him and his family.

    It's not the first time it's happened to me ... I always found writing a eulogy-style story or column was a good part of the grieving process. But as many of you know, I'm no longer in that position.

    And believe I know ... shit happens, people die.

    Does anyone have a similar story and, if so, how did you deal with it?
  2. As I said on an earlier thread, my first beat at the local alternative paper was the local Vietnam vet community -- agent ornage, PTSD, drugs, the whole bag of horrors -- and one day, one of my best sources took his M1 into the closet and never came out.
    Writing the obit screwed me up badly for quite a while.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I haven't been in your situation Flash but I have found that if writing is what helps you cope then by all means write. You could always post it here.
  4. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    A driver at our local race track, who I had known for years and was always one of the first guys I would go to when writing stories, was killed in an accident in the pit area a couple of years back. I knew the guy pretty well _ late 20s, been married a little more than a year, had a daughter about four months old.

    I had to go to the track the night of the accident and cover the story. First time I've ever written a story with tears in my eyes.

    Wrote a column the day after, wrote a column off the funeral, then had to cover the next night of racing.

    As A-QB said, write about it. It got me through the week. And from what members of the family told me later, it helped them get through it.
  5. Flash, any news on how Darcy died?
  6. Flash

    Flash Guest

    No, nothing. I am assuming they'll be doing an autopsy over there. Just heard from a friend his parents left today to bring him home.
  7. lono

    lono Active Member


    There's no simple answer. It depends on you and the person who died.

    A big reason I moved from news side to sports is to get away from all the death - I saw lots of heinous shit on the cops beat, from gangland slayings to teenage suicides to fatal car accidents and everything in between.

    Sometimes working out would help, sometimes staying up all night drinking was the answer. Black humor worked sometimes, other times not so much. The two things that usually worked - though not quickly - were time and simply taking stock and being thankful of the good things in my life. Just glad that it wasn't your family hit by tragedy that day.

    And, yes, writing almost always helped.

    Regrettably, I wish I had better advice ...
  8. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Thanks for reading ... if you do ...

    Thank you, Facebook.

    Since I was introduced to you six months ago, I have found people -- people I thought were a part of my past, long lost and forgotten.

    High school chums, teammates, athletes, coaches, trainers ... all the people that came and went in my life as a sports writer.

    I would find them and start sending out 'Friend' requests. Darren, Jamie, Greasy, Christine, Rebecca, Erika, Reg ... More requests rolled in as they started to find me.

    One finally won a championship trophy. Others are married and have kids of their own. They are accountants, managers, doctors.

    They all grew up. Me, too. None of us live in Never Never Land after all.

    And it was with a heavy heart I joined one Facebook group today ... it is entitled 'RIP Darcy Robinson.'

    Darcy was playing a pro hockey season-opener in Italy yesterday. He fell down and never got back up.

    He was only 26.

    And when I heard the news, I felt like someone drew his fist back and landed the biggest punch right in the middle of my gut ... then hit me in the head a few times for good measure.

    I first came across Darcy when he was playing bantam hockey in Kamloops. He was drafted to the Saskatoon Blades ... and then by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    And he always gave me the story.

    A grin, a shock of curls, shoulders that looked like they could carry the weight of the world and a heavy, heavy, heavy shot from the point.

    I left Kamloops more than four years ago and these are what I remember of Darcy Robinson, whose parents stood behind him and his brothers through every step of their hockey careers.

    I can't begin to imagine their shock, their pain, their grief at losing Darcy ... or that of his young fiancee, Kristen.

    I am privileged to have been on the sidelines for the childhood of so many, to share in their victories, to grieve through their losses and to have watched them grow into outstanding men and women.

    But this one was taken too soon.

    Tonight, I raise a glass to Darcy and light a candle for his family and friends. May its light guide them and its heat warm them in their time of sorrow.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Well-done, Flash. Very sorry for your loss.
  10. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Flash: A wonderful tribute. I raise my glass to you and, RIP, Darcy...
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Nice column.

    I was told by a college coach that a longtime manager had cancer and did not have too much longer to live. I wrote a column about him and the little things that he did that when combined in a column showed how important he was to the program.

    He wound up succumbing to cancer three days after the column ran. I was told that the column was buried with him.

    It's a nice feeling to know I made this man very happy for the final days of his life.
  12. Flash

    Flash Guest

    A lovely tribute to Darcy on the Wilkes-Barre site ...

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