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Learning How to Live -- Writer's Poke #126

For Writers:

They threw his body off the bridge just a couple of miles from my house. Later that evening, someone discovered it, and three suspects were quickly arrested.

Shane was one of the first people I bonded with when we moved to Mattoon. He came to my birthday party in 5th grade, but we didn’t remain friends for long. School wasn’t his top priority, and by middle school, he had been placed into one level of classes, and I had been tracked into another.

He grew his hair long, and got involved with people that weren’t always looking out for his best interests. By the time I entered college, he was totally off my radar. But apparently at the time of his death, he recognized his life was heading in the wrong direction. He enrolled at the local community college, and he started making a different group of friends.

The changes he was making came too late, and three or four of his “friends” bludgeoned him to death. Drugs and booze were probably involved.

I went to his funeral, but not too many people from our class attended. I looked at his body, and it was difficult for me to believe that someone my age had been murdered. The physical evidence was right there before me, and I wondered if I was somehow responsible -- for not caring about his life when he was still breathing. Now that he was dead, what could I do about it? And, was my concern for his death genuine? That is, did I care about Shane, or was my feeling of grief more self-serving?

Whose death has left a lasting impact on you?

“Our life is made by the death of others.” – Leonardo da Vinci


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