View Full Version : In Memory of Someone from School

Alan Yee
11-23-2006, 06:54 AM
I'm a bit down at the moment. On Sunday, a junior boy (17) and a freshman (14) from my high school were both passengers in a car crash. The junior died at the scene, while the freshman was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and lay in a coma. All the drivers, somehow, managed to survive.

He died this morning. Only then did I realize that I knew who he was. He was in one of my classes last year. We weren't close friends, and I didn't know him particularly well, but I felt a different kind of loss. This kid, a Russian by birth, was where I got the inspiration to write about some Russian characters for my novel, including a major POV character.

Now I feel like the inspiration is dying as well, but I know, and others have told me, that the best thing to do is to continue the book in memory of him. Up until now, I didn't have an official dedication to any particular person. Now I do, because I'm putting Alex and Pavel's names on a page all by themselves.

People went around the classes asking for donations to help with the funeral costs. I happened to have a good amount of money with me at the time, so I donated, as well as many other people in my class. At the end of the day, it was announced that students had donated over a thousand dollars toward the funeral. I was surprised, because I've sometimes thought that kids didn't have compassion or care much any more. I realized that kids still do care.

It was Pavel's slyness, his penchant for attracting girls, and the face that always seemed to have a smile (or, at least, an amused look) that made we decide to write about some Russian characters. Though I didn't know him as well as other people did, I will always remember him as the one who inspired me to create Vladimir Ranevsky and his family.

Hopefully, I can get past his death and continue to write about the characters inspired by him. Neither of the two who died were driving, they both didn't deserve it, and it wasn't their fault that the driver possibly shouldn't have been driving at all. They were too young, and I hope some of you realize how much more common accidents like these are than you would like to think.

I know I'm rambling, but I think it needed to be said. I'm praying for both of the two teens' families as they prepare for the funerals later this week. And I hope the two of them are both aware of how many people really cared and donated money toward their cause.


11-23-2006, 07:07 AM
Alan, I'm so sorry for you and everyone in your area. It doesn't matter how well you know someone, a loss is always felt. We recently had a similiar incident at one of our county schools. Here they close school for a day to let the students re-group. Teachers are there in case a student wants to talk, and they usually have a couple of extra counslors for a week or so to help students deal with the loss. I hope your school has something similar.

Take care.

11-23-2006, 07:11 AM
Sorry, Alan. It gets better, but you never forget.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
11-23-2006, 07:16 AM
I'm so sorry, Alan. It's so hard when young people are taken in senseless accidents - the 16 year old son of one of my friends was killed in a car wreck a couple years ago. Within a week, another friend lost her young son to diabetes. I'll never forget the devastation that left behind in the lives of these two families... but one day at a time, they picked themselves up, pulled together and went on. The latter friend said later how easy it would have been to just crawl in the grave behind her son, but that's certainly not what he would have wanted so she went on. That's what you and your friends have to do, too. Hugs to all of you from Oklahoma.

11-23-2006, 07:22 AM
Oh, Alan! I am so very sorry. What an awful thing to happen. When I hear about something like that, I always think of the wonderful things those young people might have accomplished in their lives. What a terrible waste.

11-23-2006, 07:29 AM
You're a good guy, Alan. You really are. I never liked the phrase "I'm sorry for your loss," but I haven't got a better one to offer you.

11-23-2006, 12:10 PM
Definately keep trying to write. It's the best and most honorable thing you can do.

Sorry for the loss, at least one of my not-so-close classmates die every year (don't even ask me why. It just happens.) so I kind of get where you're coming from. :)

11-23-2006, 05:48 PM
So sorry to hear this Alan.

Keep writing, it's the best way I can think to honor his memory.


11-23-2006, 06:28 PM
In almost every young person's life, there's a first death, when someone he knows is forever gone and the enormity of it is fully realized. It's painful, even if you knew the person only slightly, but it both enriches your work and your understanding of the human condition.

It does get better. You might want to write a note to his family. I know if I were in their position, I'd treasure every one.


11-23-2006, 07:29 PM
Man, that really REALLY sucks.

11-23-2006, 08:19 PM
alan, i won't say sorry for your loss.

its a shame this has happened, i really hate when us young 'uns die. no legacy to remember us/them by.

i could be way off when i say this, but maybe you feel the loss of a potential friend.

i'm glad you're gonna dedicate the book to him, and perhaps his funeral and such will inspire you even more. i'm sure you'll hear lots of stories about him and whatnot. that might inspire you.

roll on brother.

11-24-2006, 01:17 AM
I'm so sorry for you Alan. Just by listening to you, you can tell that you're a true compassonate human being. Writing in memory of your lost acquaintances will help keep them alive for you.

Cheer up ol' pal.


Alan Yee
11-24-2006, 07:06 AM
In almost every young person's life, there's a first death, when someone he knows is forever gone and the enormity of it is fully realized. It's painful, even if you knew the person only slightly, but it both enriches your work and your understanding of the human condition.

Thanks everyone. Up until now, I've been mostly unaffected personally by death. My great-grandma died six years ago, but she was 102 for heaven's sakes, so I didn't feel too much grief. A neighbor died of cancer, but I didn't know him particularly well.

This kid, however, I saw every day for one class period last year in the 8th grade. We didn't talk much to each other, but I liked him and thought he was funny and quite amusing (which led me to create a character very very loosely inspired by him).

This is the first death that has actually affected me, because before that, it was old people in the family and friends of my parents. Because I actually knew who he was and used to see him on an almost daily basis, it hit a personal note for me.

I will continue the book, but it will be difficult. I agree that I think it would be the best, most honorable, and only appropriate way to honor his memory.

Once again, thanks everyone.

11-24-2006, 07:39 AM
A good friend of mine died the day after Christmas when we were teenagers, a deer struck her car and it flipped, throwing her sister out and Marcy crashing into a tree. I have to admit that I still think of her - 20 years later - at Christmas and wonder if she wanders into my ghost stories sometimes.

A dedication is a lovely idea. I'm sure the families appreciate every single kind thought and action!

Soccer Mom
11-24-2006, 07:45 AM
This is the sort of thing you never forget: losing a contemporary. I lost a friend in high school during our senior year. I don't think I'd really felt truly mortal until then. Old people died. Not bright young girls. Gina stopped to help a cat that was in the road and had been hit by a car. Another car came along and struck her. It was dark and she was in dark clothing. Not the driver's fault, but just very sad.

Absolutely do what you can to remember him. And remember that this is why we should live each day to the fullest.

11-24-2006, 08:18 AM
I had a friend die in a car crash in March, he was a local tough guy who just had a son and his gf was preggers with their second baby (she was nearly in labor at the funeral). It's hard to get over, I'm still not over it!

I also had an aqaintance from high school (homecoming queen) get murdered. She was stabbed and her throat slashed by another girl over a guy. The girl killed her because she "thought" the guy looked at the other girl. Turns out the girl who killed her was in school with my sister...weird.

I also had a coworker kill her lesbian lovers boy friend (he was also the brother in law to the killer). She shot him in the head in front of his two children as he was returning them to their mom for the week. She is behind bars for the next 25 years or so.

I agree with Soccer Mom, I didn't feel so volnerable till my friend died in the crash. He drove like a bat out of hell, he was tough and mean, and he was full of life. He could piss you off and then be your knight in shining armor! He would fix your car in the middle of a snowstorm, help you out anyway possible, and then could curse you out for telling him to do something. If anyone told him to do anything...he flatly refused. The funniest thing ever was his mother wanted him to marry his gf. He knew his mother wanted it, and he flatly refused. He had bought the rings, had planned out how they would get marry, and his mother said to hurry up and ask her...and he shut it off right then! He said he would marry her when his mother gave up. They never married. He died right after that.

Alan Yee
11-24-2006, 08:45 AM
Though I got goosebumps and a became a little shaky as I composed it, I have finally written out the full dedication. I didn't know Alex, the front-seat passenger who died at the scene, but I included him as well since he also went to my high school. Hopefully, one day, I can finish this book and get it into a publishable form, so I actually have a place to print the dedication.

11-24-2006, 07:36 PM
So Alan-here is the deal. One can say all kinds of things in these situations and most people try-at least that is good of them and shows there caring for you. When I lost my first son-I ran around for a long long time looking for a reason-I stopped looking and it was given to me and a great gift it was.

I cannot tell you what this gift was-it belongs to me-it was for my spirit-my wife still is looking and to tell you the truth it is like alcoholism. You have to hit a bottom before you start the climb back.

I care for you Alan-you are a good and sensitive person-worth caring about as is everyone else on the planet-but hate will out!

So all that I can say to try to help is that the reason for this tragedy is out there and if you search for it or you do not-there is a reason. So dear heart I wish you well and I wish you love and peace-Dave

11-24-2006, 08:51 PM
HUGS. Keep writing and preserve your friend's spirit for the future. HUGS!!!

11-24-2006, 09:22 PM
I don't know what to say either. Best wishes. You are a good guy and someone who is caring.

Carrie in PA
11-24-2006, 11:16 PM

11-27-2006, 08:20 AM
Thinking of you, Alan. Unexpected death is such an insult to us. It reminds us of how fragile life is and the death of someone who shares our age and our place in the community is always a reminder of our own mortality. Mourning someone is our way of acknowledging that person's value, whether we knew him well or not. None of us would want to die unremarked; all of us want to be valued. So it is a wonderful thing that you mark the passing and confirm the value of these kids in your dedication.

11-27-2006, 02:20 PM
Alan, I'm very sorry that happened and my prayers and thoughts are with them and their families and you and hope you're alright. You're a very caring person.

Kasey Mackenzie
11-27-2006, 08:52 PM
Sorry, Alan. It gets better, but you never forget.

This is so true. We lost 3 freshman girls my senior year in high school, one to cancer and two to car accidents. The one we lost to cancer was the daughter of one of my favorite teachers. One had gone to my youth group for awhile, although we were never close friends. Another I WAS close to, although a bit closer to her sister since she was only one year behind me instead of three. Even now, 11 years after her death, I still think about her from time to time. Especially when I hear one of the two songs they played at her funeral--Tim McGraw's "Don't Take the Girl," and Tracy Byrd's "Keeper of the Stars." For the first couple of years I got choked up and cried most of the time I heard those songs. Now, I can hear them without crying, but I always think of her when I hear them.

Alan: I think that dedicating your story to those boys is a wonderful way to honor their memories. Kudos to you.