Still mourning the loss

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Time has a funny way of conducting business in our lives, the tempo is like a piece of classical music. From fast to slow and back again, it is this symphony that drives our lives into an endless struggle against the clock, always hoping those hands aren't at that number.

When one stops to think, it's almost alarming to look back and realize so much time has passed.

I was watching the news while working on a history paper last week, and all of a sudden there was a news story about the Lost Coast tragedy. Apparently, some Mount Royal College students have made a safety video about the topic.

The Lost Coast tragedy was a story that made headlines in early 2000. Two Calgary high school students lost their lives trying to save a chaperone on a school trip in Northern California. One of those young men, David Elton, was an acquaintance of mine. He was part of the William Aberhart High School debate club, of which I was also a member.

Seeing the news story opened those old wounds again.

Some might wonder why some-one who never had much contact with David would still be hurt so much over three and a half years later, but for me this still weighs heavy on my heart.

When the tragedy in California occurred I was halfway around the world in Paris, France on another school trip. It was such a shock when we were told about the deaths and, since I was a year younger than most of the people in my travel group, it hit me hard.

It was an incident a few days before their departure that made me so upset. David was joking around that day (like he usually was) and, being the little kid I was (and still am), I took it the wrong way and got quite angry at him. A few days later I wanted to apologize, but I never got the chance. When the news finally reached our group, it was tough to handle.

For the rest of the trip I couldn't help but feel horrible about my actions. Despite others' encouragement, I still felt bad. It was one thing that had been left unsaid which will forever remain unsaid.

But when I think about it, what would have happened if I had said it? Would I still be sitting here today writing this?

There is currently an ongoing lawsuit in the courts filed by the family of the other young man against the school board. It pains me every time I hear the mother speak. Although it is rare now, when I open the Calgary Herald and see her spouting her poisonous words to the media, it is another stab in my heart.

I ask myself, "why won't this woman shut up?" Unfortunately, there is no way to do so. She lost her son--and I lost an acquaintance.

It's not the same, but to me it is, and always will be.

It is unfair to put your own interests on a pedestal while not caring about what others are feeling, even after a long period of time has passed.

Lawsuits may bring change, but they never bring anyone back. Time will never heal this wound, a mix of fond memories and something left unsaid will continue to hurt for a long time to come.

For better or for worse, it is a part of my life and nothing will change that.