Thursday I was in Fort Worth to talk about The Happiest Life with Eric Metaxas at his “Socrates in the City” south in Fort Worth, Texas. After a wonderful conversation with Eric before a few hundred great, welcoming Texans and a fun book signing, I wandered down to the Main Street Festival where the streets were alive with people and exhibits and the Main Stage had great bands playing –the perfect moment for a cigar.
The back to the hotel room and this story –the worst story because it is about the worst thing that can happen, the loss of a child, in this case many children on the cusp of adulthood. I spent Wednesday morning as the guest teacher for a couple of AP Government classes at a southern California high school so the horrors of this wreck are very vivid juxtaposed to the joy of having been around so much energy and optimism.
So the country grieves with the parents, siblings, grandparents, girlfriends, boyfriends, just friends, teachers, coaches and extended families of these students, and I reminded of what Rabbi Kushner once told me, the best advice he said then he could give to those who would comfort the grieving: Show up and shut up. It is the best thing to do because you simply cannot know what they are feeling, but they need their friends close and the media far away.