21 October 2010

Lock your doors... wear a seatbelt and...

..."teach your children well"...

This is exactly the kind of story I make sure I show my own 14 year-old son...

A 22-year-old Western student from the faculty of science died early Sunday morning after a 15-storey fall from an apartment building on Richmond Street.

Edmondson was sitting on the edge of a balcony railing when he lost his balance and slipped off the balcony, according to several friends close to Edmondson.
I am not without sympathy here... but seriously... it's 3 o'clock in the morning and you're out on your 15th floor balcony... sitting on the edge of the freakin' railing?

Good gawd... what a stupid, senseless, needless death.

And while this young man didn't get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, or get into a gunfight, or stick a spike full of poison into his arm... this is, sadly... no less a self-inflicted injury.

By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man destined for greater things. And now... nothing. In fact, in a way, less than nothing... just a gaping, bottomless black hole of grief for his friends and family.

This puts me in mind of a kid from Belleville, who, a few years back, fell to his death from a balcony during an alcohol-fueled "spitting contest" while attending university in Ottawa.

This simply shatters my sense of what should be. I read this and I... mindlessly, crazily... want to stand guard over my own child 24/7. But that's not even remotely possible... never mind desirable.

In the end, all you can do, as the old song goes, is "teach your children well"... and hope for the best.

**********

A READER WRITES:
I wanted to personally email you my response to your blog posting regarding the passing of David Edmondson, since it said that you had disabled replies from being viewed...

I have never been one to comment on a blog, but as a good friend of David's I was heartbroken and insulted reading this post of yours after I typed his name into google hoping to see some new letters and sympathies sent from those who loved him. I agree that this loss of life was completely senseless and unnecessary in every regard, but the fact remains that it was both a tragedy and an accident.

To judge this young man's death in such a critical and mocking manner is beyond distasteful and insensitive. Obviously there is a huge lesson to be learned- as there always is when some unexpected event takes a life from us far too early- but to even dare describe his "self-inflicted injury" in the same sentence as "getting behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, getting into a gunfight, or sticking a spike full of poison into his arm" is a disgusting and heartless manner in which to compare his unintentional passing.

David was not "sitting on the edge of the freakin' railing", which you would have known if you had had the privilege of going to school with him, living in the same apartment as him, and having a strong friendship with him, all of which I am honored to say I have had. He was sitting on the inner ledge of his balcony that had a safety railing behind him, not balancing on top of a pole asking for a deathwish (which is the attitude you insinuated he must have had).

To portray his devastating accident in such a careless manner is beyond ignorant. You go on to say that "By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man", indicating that you did not know David personally, although I figured that one out a lot earlier into your blog judging by the tone of your entire post that was clearly written from a removed and cold perspective, with absolutely no regard or sympathy for the unbelievable person we all have to now learn to live without. It goes without saying that there is something to be taken away from such an extreme ordeal, but you are in no position to criticize the actions, or mistakes, of a genuine young man in order to get the dramatics of your position across. The exact same message could have been conveyed without the condescending tone you felt necessary to drape the article in. David's parents did "teach their children well", which is why they raised an amazing man that touched so many lives in his short 22 years on earth. Hopefully your kids aren't as foolish as David was by making one error in judgement in their lives so that you do not have to endure a random person on a blog critiquing the manner in which they died and commenting on how "stupid" they thought it was. Really great insightful piece I must say.

The bigger tragedy in all of this is that people like yourself are forcing the horrific way in which he died to overshadow the amazing way in which he lived, something you would never allow for if you had known the beautiful David that I did.

Sincerely,

Fiona Shanahan
**********

BREAKING: In other City of London news
"On Tuesday, I received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there."

"It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation."
I remember Canada... sigh.

**********

UPPERDATE: Geez... thanks Muhammed!!!

Apparently, it's true... there's no such thing as bad publicity...
The good news is that Steyn’s speech will still be going on as planned. Given the increasing demand, we’ve moved to an even bigger venue, and Mark will be speaking at Centennial Hall.

You can find all the details on how to register here.


11 comments:

Gerry said...

This just tears at the guts of any parent. It is the nature of males to do risky and oft times, in retrospect, stupid things. I am, on reflection, amazed that I have lived so long given the kind of dumb things I do and have done on an amazingly regular basis - and I am supposedly an intelligent person! That young man could have been me or one of my sons if one small slip had been made and while I am relieved we have thus far escaped relatively unharmed I do grieve for the family for their loss but also for the aspersions of how stupid their son was when anyone of us could be there.

Neo Conservative said...

*
"gerry says... tears at the guts of any parent"

as a parent, i agree completely... a loss like this, under these particular circumstances... it's simply unbearable.

even the parents of our soldiers killed in afghanistan can perhaps console themselves that their children chose to put themselves in harms way in pursuit of a better world.

but this? where's the consolation?

on the other hand, my compassionate, intellectual friend "liberal supporter"dropped me a note about my... "sheer brainless douchebagery"(sic)... in writing about this.

takes all kinds, i guess.

*

Anonymous said...

Stop calling their son stupid... Everyone makes mistakes. He wasn't stupid in any way. You or I could have made a mistake like this. Anything a person does can in some way lead them to their death. J walking, driving, going on a bike...You're just a heartless bitch.

Neo Conservative said...

*
"nonny says... calling their son stupid... you're just a heartless bitch."

hmmm, nonny... who's calling who names? maybe, my friend, you should read slower...
-
"By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man destined for greater things."
-
but, hey... thanks for playing.

*

Gerry said...

Anon, no one called their son stupid. I am not surprised by your apparent lack of reading comprehension skills - given an educational system based on affirmation more than capacity - but I do wish you would ensure you know what you are talking about before emoting and insulting others.

Anonymous said...

I have never been one to comment on a blog, but as a good friend of David's I was heartbroken and insulted reading this post after I typed his name into google hoping to see some new letters and sympathies sent from those who loved him. I agree that this loss of life was completely senseless and unnecessary in every regard, but the fact remains that it was both a tragedy and an accident. To judge this young man's death in such a critical and mocking manner is beyond distasteful and insensitive. Obviously there is a huge lesson to be learned- as there always is when some unexpected event takes a life from us far too early- but to even dare describe his "self-inflicted injury" in the same sentence as "getting behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, getting into a gunfight, or sticking a spike full of poison into his arm" is a disgusting and heartless manner in which to compare his unintentional passing. David was not "sitting on the edge of the freakin' railing", which you would have known if you had had the privilege of going to school with him, living in the same apartment as him, and having a strong friendship with him, all of which I am honored to say I have had. He was sitting on the inner ledge of his balcony that had a safety railing behind him, not balancing on top of a pole asking for a deathwish (which is the attitude you insinuated he must have had). To portray his devastating accident in such a careless manner is beyond ignorant. You go on to say that "By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man", indicating that you did not know David personally, although I figured that one out a lot earlier into your blog judging by the tone of your entire post that was clearly written from a removed and cold perspective with absolutely no regard or sympathy for the unbelievable person we all have to now live without. It goes without saying that there is something to be taken away from such an extreme ordeal, but you are in no position to criticize the actions or mis-actions of a genuine young man in order to get the dramatics of your position across. The exact same message could have been conveyed without the condescending tone you felt necessary to drape the article in. David's parents did "teach their children well", which is why they raised an amazing man that touched so many lives in his short 22 years on earth. Hopefully your kids aren't as foolish as David was by making one error in judgement in their lives so that you do not have to endure a random person on a blog critiquing the manner in which they died and commenting on how "stupid" they thought it was. Really great insightful piece I must say.
The bigger tragedy in all of this is that people like yourself are forcing the horrific way in which he died to overshadow the amazing way in which he lived, something you would never allow for if you had known the beautiful David that I did.

Anonymous said...

I have never been one to comment on a blog, but as a good friend of David's I was heartbroken and insulted reading this post after I typed his name into google hoping to see some new letters and sympathies sent from those who loved him. I agree that this loss of life was completely senseless and unnecessary in every regard, but the fact remains that it was both a tragedy and an accident.

To judge this young man's death in such a critical and mocking manner is beyond distasteful and insensitive. Obviously there is a huge lesson to be learned- as there always is when some unexpected event takes a life from us far too early- but to even dare describe his "self-inflicted injury" in the same sentence as "getting behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, getting into a gunfight, or sticking a spike full of poison into his arm" is a disgusting and heartless manner in which to compare his unintentional passing.

Anonymous said...

David was not "sitting on the edge of the freakin' railing", which you would have known if you had had the privilege of going to school with him, living in the same apartment as him, and having a strong friendship with him, all of which I am honored to say I have had. He was sitting on the inner ledge of his balcony that had a safety railing behind him, not balancing on top of a pole asking for a deathwish (which is the attitude you insinuated he must have had).

Anonymous said...

To portray his devastating accident in such a careless manner is beyond ignorant. You go on to say that "By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man", indicating that you did not know David personally, although I figured that one out a lot earlier into your blog judging by the tone of your entire post that was clearly written from a removed and cold perspective with absolutely no regard or sympathy for the unbelievable person we all have to now live without. It goes without saying that there is something to be taken away from such an extreme ordeal, but you are in no position to criticize the actions or mis-actions of a genuine young man in order to get the dramatics of your position across.

Anonymous said...

The exact same message could have been conveyed without the condescending tone you felt necessary to drape the article in. David's parents did "teach their children well", which is why they raised an amazing man that touched so many lives in his short 22 years on earth. Hopefully your kids aren't as foolish as David was by making one error in judgement in their lives so that you do not have to endure a random person on a blog critiquing the manner in which they died and commenting on how "stupid" they thought it was. Really great insightful piece I must say.
The bigger tragedy in all of this is that people like yourself are forcing the horrific way in which he died to overshadow the amazing way in which he lived, something you would never allow for if you had known the beautiful David that I did.

Neo Conservative said...

*
anon... read slower...

"By all accounts David Edmondson was a smart, caring, successful young man destined for greater things. And now... nothing."

"In fact, in a way, less than nothing... just a gaping, bottomless black hole of grief for his friends and family."


*