How is sorrow borne? With time and faith... With remembrance and celebration...
I did not meet Richard McKeefery (1977-2001) in his brief life, but I have come to know him through the emails of his mother, Laura.
"He has a beautiful spirit both during his time on this earth and since," Laura explained. "I am grateful for the opportunity God gave me, even though cut too short, to have been a part of his life."
The second son of five children, Richard was born on his great-grandmother's birthday in Kansas City, Missouri and named for his father's brother who had died at age nine. A friend to children and animals, he once "saved the day" for a young child he barely knew, standing in for an absent father at a father/son school event.
A handsome young man who many said resembled actor Tom Cruise, Richard growing up talked about becoming a police officer or lawyer to help people. An advocate for justice, he won recognition for a tribute he wrote about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Laura said, "I called him my 'who baby' because with his large eyes he reminded me of a Dr. Seuss character. He was certainly the sweetest boy I had ever known."
On the way home from a Kansas City/Tampa baseball game, young Richard was killed while changing a flat tire. Believing the Florida Highway Patrol did not investigate the matter enough, Laura continues to search for help and justice... "I refuse to let the circumstances surrounding his death go," she said.
How does one cope with sorrow so unfathomable? "I have turned to God for strength," Laura answered. "I am also in grief counseling... and fortunate to have very close supportive family members."
"The road through grief is a rocky one," said MADD founder Candy Lightner. "Traveling along it requires courage, patience, wisdom, and hope."
There are spaces of sorrow only God can touch.