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too much death for one day

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txsportsscribe, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    dammit, i've had enough death for one day. had to cover the funeral for a local green beret soldier killed in action this morning and then a candlelight vigil for a murdered teenager this evening. being this is my hometown, the emotions are a little raw right now.

    just needed to vent.
  2. JosephC.Myers

    JosephC.Myers Active Member

    Nothing wrong with venting. My thoughts and prayers to those families. Being in the Army, the Green Beret strikes me a little closer to home, but both instances make me sad.
  3. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    It's worth venting and getting it out, especially moments like these when it gets to you. To you, your hometown, and to those who are remembered today and their loved ones, my prayers are with all of you right now.
  4. Pencil Dick

    Pencil Dick Member

    I know how you feel. In my hometown yesterday, a 6-year-old girl fell off a riding mower her mother was driving and somehow was run over by the mower blade and died on the scene. Some really close friends of ours live right down the street from where this happened and one of their children attended school with the victim. I can't imagine what the family is going through.
  5. swenk

    swenk Member

    My youngest son plays varsity football. Over the summer, one of his teammates didn't show up to practice; one of the kids told the coach he had received a strange text from the missing player during the night. The coach called the police, who went to his house and found him hanging in the garage, wearing a suit and tie. Just a quiet, sweet, 17 yr old who had nowhere to turn.

    The day after his wake, his 21 year old cousin (who lived in the same community and had a lot of the same friends) got drunk, had a fight with his girlfriend, and also hung himself.

    As the mourners walked into the second wake--at the same church as the first wake and funeral--they learned that another varsity football player had just been killed in a car crash. Also a parishioner of the same church, and a close friend of the other two boys.

    My son and his teammates spent more time in that church over those two weeks than they spent on a football field all summer. They're still dealing with it, and the emotion surrounding every game is just gut-wrenching.

    But they're pulling it together: When they scored the first TD of the season, the receiver in the end zone pointed at the sky, to his missing friends and teammates. The ref said if he did it again he'd get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. So the players agreed if they scored again, the whole team would point to the sky. Unfortunately, they didn't score again in that game, but I'm so hoping they do it soon.
  6. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Vent all you want, that's why we're here.

    Swenk, that is one heck of a story!
  7. WolvEagle

    WolvEagle Active Member

    It's OK to vent. Journalists have emotions, too.

    Our deputy ME (now the ME) got upset a couple years ago when several of us in the newsroom were talking about one of our stories - a 5-year-old was killed by his mom's boyfriend's wolf-dog hybrid (yeah, the adults were pure white trash). Man, that was a tough one. We needed to talk it out. She didn't think so.
  8. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    In 2003 I had the section out early (it was July) and we got a call into the scanner about an accident. The photog said it sounded serious, and I was done, so I went out there with him. On the way, the term "3K" came over the scanner. Eight kids in a van ended up in a small grove of trees when the driver lost control going too fast on a curve. 3K meant three killed. Another died at the hospital. I didn't sleep for about a week.

    A few years later, I'm in my favorite restaurant and a waitress was asking me about stories I'd done. I mentioned that, and it turned out she was one of the four who lived. She was injured (a broken leg, I think), but her optimism about life and everything was undisturbed. "Hey!" she said, brightening. "Your story is probably in the scrapbook I kept. I should bring it in sometime."

    Um, no. But I had to smile. It was 180 degrees from what I expected.

    I'm sure she's thought about it over the years, but it hasn't gotten in the way of her having a good life. She's still upbeat and positive and just had a little boy.
  9. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    the soldier's funeral was a little easier because i was shooting the funeral procession, the patriot guards and the community members lining the street waving flags but no real interaction for me.

    the vigil, on the other hand, was pure torture. emotions were so raw for those kids and this was such a horrific murder. the piece of crap who killed her was supposed to go on trial next month for raping her when she was just 14 and she was his kids' babysitter. i don't know that i'll ever forget all the agonizing wailing and i know i won't forget the victim's mother.
  10. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    In a past life, I was a cops reporter. I saw some horrible, horrible stuff: Little old ladies killed in their homes, murder-suicides...I still remember a woman wailing as they took her husband's body out of a Japanese restaurant after he'd been shot by a xenophobic wackjob who woke up one morning and decided he was going to start shooting minorities. I was there when a guy found out his daughter had been killed by her estranged boyfriend. I talked to a woman who was making funeral plans for her son after he'd been killed by the police. I covered a coroner's inquest where a pathologist talked about how a guy shook his daughter so badly, her brain snapped off its stem. And I covered a firefighter's funeral. For a week afterward, I heard "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes in my sleep.

    Believe me, after shit like that, we all need a time and place to vent. Or copious amounts of booze. Or both. At least, for me.
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    been there. It got so bad I begged off another funeral/tragic death/grief story my editor wanted me to cover after a string (grieving teens, accidental deaths, infant deaths, cancer deaths of beloved local people) a few years back, telling him I just didn't think I could do another one at that time. My empathy well was dry. I never want to get to the point where I become so jaded, I can't "feel" a story and have to fake it.
  12. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    makes me look forward to shooting friday night football. it's an escape.
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