Posted 16 February 2004 - 09:51 PM
Your post brings back a memory of a Scout that died one evening late after leaving our District Camporee. His name was Gary D. He and I had not been particularly close because he was having personal problems and he generally appeared angry and distant. I never found out the source of his resentment. That night he simply left the camp and hurtled into oblivion.
I knew his dad and liked him a great deal. He was always there for our O.A. events and helped establish our Indian Dance Team. More than anything, I felt the deepest sorrow for him. I can remember being shocked by the suddenness of it and feeling despondent. That morning we gathered at the teepee that we had built as one of our O.A. projects. We were in a circle and nobody could even speak. As the Chapter Chief, I took off my Campaign hat and passed it around to take up a donation for flowers. I could barely choke out the words that Gary was a friend. Down deep I knew that we were not close friends but the circumstance was too overwhelming. I was truly at a loss in so many ways.
Over the years, I have experienced the loss of close friends and most of my family and because of that I respect death and its meaning to life. It will never be an event that I will be disconnected from or that I will be able to make good judgments about, including the choice of clothing or what to say. I have felt the personal hurt and the pain of it and would never prevent or discourage others their expression of sorrow.