Pick the right words when offering comfort

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008

This week the River Region was in pain.

Following news last Saturday that five young men from here had all died in a boating accident, the area was thrown into shock.

It didn’t matter if you knew these young men closely or not, news of this magnitude affects everyone.

But here in the River Region, particularly St. John Parish, it is a close family. Not only do so many people know each other intimately, but an incredibly large number of people are related.

So the deaths of 22-year-old Stanley Borne Jr., 22-year-old Ken Horzelski, 20-year-old Joshua McNulty, 23-year-old Patrick McTopy Jr., and 25-year-old Chance Millet hit this community like a ton of bricks. And clearly one week has done little to address the healing.

As funeral services were held throughout the area all week long, hundreds of family and friends turned out to show their support and love. That was a good thing.

But also in the aftermath of such an event as this, too many people wanted to try and have the answers, and begin questioning things that they were in no position to question.

One St. John Parish officer was heard to say at one funeral service that he knows there is positive and negative in everything our life brings us. “But I’m having trouble seeing any positive in this,” he said.

For the vast majority of people who are in the grieving process, the statement rang all too true at this early stage. And that’s why those who are trying to say too much right now are possibly only adding to the unbelievable pain the family members have to be feeling.

Those most affected by this tragedy need to simply know today how much love and caring there is for them.

For today, they just want to know that many people love them, and will be there for them. Let’s continue to take that to the family members who have been hit so hard with this tragedy, not senseless comments concerning things only God could possibly answer.