The Unbearable Shortness Of Being

When my husband died he was in his mid fifties and I was in my early thirties.  At that time I thought that the age of fifty something was unfathomably old.  Naturally my perspective on the matter has changed greatly. At least, when he died, I could say that he had lived a rich and full life. Strangely knowing that he had five decades to live up to his potential, including having two marriages, five children, a successful business and a multitude of friends, made his death less traumatic.

But how does anyone deal with the death of a young adult.  There is no way to put an ameliorating layer of "he lived a full life" on the comprehension of death.  The death of the young is so very sad because it is also the death of potential.  Who would this young man have become if he had lived out his life?  What would he have brought to the world?
In this particular situation there are even more questions about how a strapping young man of 20 could disappear on his way home from a friend's house in Bel Air a mile away from his home in Brentwood.  How the police and coroner could mistake the identity of a hit and run victim for two days after the family had filed a missing persons report, searched the neighborhoods and trails of western Bel Air by foot, hired a private investigator and searched by bloodhound and helicopter.

A rather amazing thing came out of the senselessness of this situation.  Through the use of Facebook and Twitter, the news of his disappearance spread quickly and many more people than just the immediate family and friends could be on the lookout for him.  Unfortunately, by then it was too late but it was an important reminder of how technology can help in times of crisis. 

Jamie O'Connell, had your grandfather lived to have seen the fine young man that you became, he would have been very proud.  
Jamie O'Connell, R.I.P.