Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Shooting Star

There are things in this life that just don't make sense. The recent death of a young boy from our community is one of those things, a tragic incident for which there are no words. When I heard the young boy had been found unresponsive at the local ski hill I was terribly upset. The Intrepid Junior Blogger is a skier, too, one who loves the slopes and the fresh air and the sport. Hearing about this young boy being transported to hospital was terrifying, as it is every parent's worst fear come to life. And then, last night, I heard worse news.

The young boy in question had died, a "shooting star" as his mother described him in an online post. She said he "oohed" and "awed" all who saw him, his too brief life shooting across the sky, brightening the days of those who loved him. And for several days his life was the focal point of an entire community as we prayed and sent thoughts and strength and courage - but, in the end, it was not enough. In the end, for reasons no one can fathom or explain, he was gone, a shooting star gone from our view.

Today I am at the ski hill with the IJB. She is here with a friend, and I will keep this post brief because, quite honestly, I find my eyes filling with tears as I look around at all the young people here. Young women, young men, someone's child, each and every one of them. Each and every one of them full of youth and life and joy. And it makes my heart hurt in the deepest and most profound way.

I debated writing about this at all, saying anything when words alone simply cannot express the depth of my grief or sorrow. I did not want to be disrespectful, or cause more pain. In the end, though, what I do is write. This is how I work out my world, how I try to force the world to make sense - and yet today it is failing me, because no matter what I write or say it will never, ever make sense. So instead of having it make sense I will say this: hug your children close to you, because they too are shooting stars. They are the most precious thing of all, our future, our hopes and dreams, and, often, our very reason for being. Last night when I heard the news I held the IJB for a long time, weeping, and for once she did not try to struggle free as she often does now that she is a teen. Last night I think she too felt the fragility of the world, and the sorrow.

Godspeed, little Will. May whatever journey you are now on be one of love and light. May your family and friends find whatever comfort and hope they can, because they are loved by this entire community, and they will be kept in our thoughts and hearts, just as you will be. May we all hold our children tightly, and may we all look at the sky and treasure every shooting star. Life is precious and fragile and often far too short. Every shooting star reminds us of that.


  1. That was a beautiful tribute to Will, Theresa, and such an eloquent description of how so many of us are feeling right now.

  2. What a lovely tribute to little Will!
    I am a former Ft. McMurray Resident, I didn't know Will or his family. But what I hear, he really was a Shooting Star!
    Thanks for the beautiful read....
    Healing thoughts & prayers to his family & friends <3

  3. Such a touching tribute to little Will, I am positive that his family will be very touched by it. We cannot explain what God has plan for everyone of us, that is why we need to live our lifes to the fullest each and every day. Love that picture of the shooting star !!

  4. Beautifully written; thanks for sharing <3

  5. You expressed it beautifully! As a former McMurrayite myself, we knew Will's parents, a long time ago. When I heard the news last night I was speechless. So sad and such a terrible loss of an obviously very special person. Our thoughts are with you!

  6. Beautiful tribute, it brought tears to my eyes!

  7. beautiful, still makes me sad reading it. Miss you Will, my shooting star