Monday, March 17, 2014

She Fought the Good Fight

My heart is heavy today, and I’m not sure I even feel like writing about this – but I feel drawn to jot down a few words.

Yesterday my dear friend, Clair’s, niece (16 years old) collapsed at the finish line of the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. She died soon thereafter. These incidents are rare enough that they are newsworthy, so you might have seen it online or on TV.

I know. There are no words.

I did not know my friend’s niece, Cameron. But, Clair is like a sister to me. When she hurts, I hurt. 

IMAG2137

As a parent I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The shock. The suddenness. The tragedy of a life ended so young. The milestones that will never be reached. The emptiness and sorrow those parents will feel for ever more. FOREVER. 

All I can think is that the sadness of life can be so overwhelming.

We know running is not deadly in and of itself. Life is deadly. It is going to happen to each of us one day. I go back to these stats:

  • 1/150,000 will die running a marathon (it is 40% of that for half marathoners) –most often linked to a congenital heart defect in younger runners and clogged arteries in older runners.
  • 1/88 will die in a car accident
  • 1/28 will die from a stroke
  • 1/6 will die from heart disease

Running, within moderation, has been shown to reduce heart disease and to promote overall better health. I think I’ll take my chances on running and doing what I love.

I am a broken record, but these tragedies should remind us to not waste time. To make sure we are loving and appreciating those around us. To make things right if they are not right. To learn to not take ourselves so seriously, and to open up to life. To truly understand that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.

No regrets.

In Cameron’s obituary, the family asks everyone to reflect on II Timothy Chapter 4 verse 7:  "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish: I have kept the faith."

RIP beautiful girl.

SUAR

65 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend's niece. What an awful tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sending thoughts of healing to your friend and to you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love big. Show grace. Every. Single. Day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So so sorry. I read her family's statement and my eyes filled with tears. She sounds like an amazing woman. Holding you and her family in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So very sad....we had a tragedy this weekend in Ridgefield CT as well where a beautiful 15 year old ballerina died after being hit by a car (walking on a dark road at night in dark clothes) - it seems so unfair to see a young life taken so suddenly and I don't know how one offers comfort to the grieving family and friends left behind. All we can do is appreciate every day as a gift, and hug/hold our children close...prayers to your friend and her family xo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh that is so awful. This heavy heart goes out to the parents and family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read the article circulating about it and my heart broke instantaneously... sending love, hugs, and prayers to all of her loved ones and their loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an awful, unexpected tragedy. Your friend and her family are in my thoughts; I know that when things like this happen, the running community comes together, and I hope they find a way locally (and nationally) to celebrate this young woman's life.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My deepest condolences for your friend's loss.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's so tragic. My thoughts to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tell Clair I'm sending her a hug…so very sorry to hear this.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sending prayers up for all :(

    ReplyDelete
  13. My whole heart goes out to your friend and her loved ones....

    Sarah
    www.thinfluenced.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm sending love to both you, Clair, and her family. Losing someone is never easy, and I'm saying that from experience with my own struggle. I can't offer any advice, but reading "A Grace Disguised" by Jerry L. Sittser has been so helpful that I carry it with my everywhere. What else is there to say? Just showing love is enough right now. Be safe.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Omg I'm so sorry, how awful. I have a 17 yr old, and I can't even imagine what your poor friend and her family are going through.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So, so sorry for your friend's loss. This totally reminds me to live my live to the fullest.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had heard about this and am just sick to my stomach for that young woman's family. Can not even imagine the pain.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, there are no words to express how sorry I am for you, Clair, and the family. I heard about the story and it's crazy to think someone I "know" knows the victim.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I my brother died young, it's a terrible thing to live through, watching someone grieve with such deep deep sadness

    ReplyDelete
  20. My condolences to you and everyone touched by the loss of this young woman. She has a whole community of runners mourning for her.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am so sorry Beth - praying for Clair and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is so tragic! Praying for your friend's family! How horrible.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so sorry to hear about this tragic loss. I'm sending out loud of thoughts and prayers for Clair and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my, I am so terribly sorry to hear about this. I am sending my thoughts and prayers for Clair and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is very sad, but if I die while running I will die happy, I hope she was happy, thinking of you and your friend Clair

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love and prayers to you and your friend Clair, and her family. I'm so sorry for the loss of such a young beautiful life.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm so sorry. I know there are no words but that is shockingly sad and devastating. I'm glad your friend has you to lean on.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my gosh, so sorry. I live near the VA beach area and it was all over the news here. So sorry to you and your friend's family.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I ran the race this weekend and heard about the tragedy on Sunday night. I'm so sorry for you, Clair and her family...that's terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Way too young under any circumstance. Sorry to hear about this....we must (from the running community) continue forward for her and the family. Each step forward we make will include her in mind. I will certainly be mindful of that today when I go for my run and to make sure I appreciate that I can do this for her and others (like this) today.


    Rick Boudreau

    ReplyDelete
  31. I had heard about this on the news. I'm very sorry to hear this and my thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. A truly sad event.

    ReplyDelete
  32. OH ouch this does make my heart hurt, you are right it needs to serve as a reminder to us that nothing is guaranteed and thank you for showing the stats on running. I think it's important that these moments don't create the belief in others that running is inherently harmful.

    ReplyDelete
  33. My biggest issue with these races, they stop you immediately after you cross the finish line, to a bottleneck of hot sweaty people, while they shove stuff in your face and hands. No room or time to cool down and regain composure.It's a terrible way to remember one of my best and worst races. I was gone before she crossed. I believe they need to give us space to jog and cool down, I always give it my all at the end and heave for a good 30 seconds after I cross. I cried when I heard, it was such a joyous day for so many. I am only consoled slightly by the fact that she was so happy at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just read an article about that last night, It is incredibly sad and my thoughts and prayers go to her family, as well as you and anyone who knew her. I'm glad you posted the stats, I hate that things like this (no one was at fault) bring bad light to the thing that we love. People need to stop being negative about running and races and start looking at the other problems more. What about drinking and driving? The 2 drunk people who killed a local woman 2 summer ago while she was riding her bike and they BOTH got off with a slap on the wrist regardless of the fact that they were playing chicken on the road with car and motorcycle, both were recently paroled for previous DUI's. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Warm thoughts of strength and peace to you and Clair's family.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Being in Richmond this is, of course, all over the news. I can't watch, it makes me so unbelievably sad. First Meg in January and now this. Her parents are showing such amazing strength and grace - I truly don't know how they are doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There is such grief at any sudden loss, but especially losing one so young. My thoughts and prayers are with all who knew her and are affected by this.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Terrible news. Sending lots of love and light to her family and those who surround them.

    ReplyDelete
  39. May she forever rest in sweet peace.

    ReplyDelete
  40. What a huge tragedy. I'm so sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with your friend and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  41. My thoughts are with her family... what a devastating story...

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am so sorry for her loss. I saw the story on the news. My thoughts are with all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. So very profoundly sorry. Wishing your friend much strength at this time of unimaginable grief. And wishing you strength, too.

    ReplyDelete
  44. So sorry, Beth. How sad and tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with you, her and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I was so sad to read this. Life is so very precious.....God got a new angel. RIP.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thoughts with you , your friend and the family at this most grief stricken time. Very sad indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am so sorry for you, your friend and her family. It is a lesson we should all take to heart and very beautifully stated. Thinking of you!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm so sorry that this is someone close to you. I did hear about it on the news this weekend and remember thinking what a tragedy. I can't even imagine what her parents are going through.

    ReplyDelete
  49. That is devastating... so sorry to hear that.
    Sending prayers to your friend & her family. I know you'll be a support for her.

    ReplyDelete
  50. That is so sad to hear of someone passing so young.

    ReplyDelete
  51. We do not know when we will take our last breathe, the dash between our beginning and end is up to each of us. God be with the family and friends of this precious angel

    ReplyDelete
  52. Our community just lost 2 young men. A 15 year old boy died in an accidental shooting (he was my bosses nephew). And a 17 year old boy collapsed and died during gym class. It's heartbreaking when someone dies, but it's even more tragic when it's someone young who has yet to experience life in all its glory-good, bad or otherwise. Thoughts and prayers to you, your friend and her family.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Oh my gosh!! I ran the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach on Sunday. I am so crushed to hear this. We didn't watch the news as we were too busy celebrating my under 4 hr accomplishment. I am so sorry for Cameron's family. My heart goes out to Clair and her family. She was so young!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm so sorry for this unbelievable loss. My prayers go out to you and this family.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am so sorry! I just read about her today. My prayers go out to all that knew her.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Can't imagine loosing a child and my heart aches for her family! As a nurse in critical care/trauma I know that sometimes people die and sometimes they don't. There are times it doesn't even make sense. Everyday is a blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'm so sorry for your friend's loss and was really touched by this post. Sometimes it's tragedies like these that can either propel you or hold you back in life. You listed those statistics and as we can see, something's gonna get ya' one day anyhow. Why not just go for it and in the end, you know that you gave life your all.

    ReplyDelete
  58. So sorry for your loss. May the family find piece in the fact that she was living her life in a positive way.

    ReplyDelete