A Loss Beyond All Reason and Comprehension

by Bill Brenner on August 30, 2011

I’m praying hard for my co-worker and friend Joan Ritchie Goodchild and her husband Bryan. Bryan’s uncle and cousin were swept away in the flash flooding Tropical Storm Irene caused in Vermont Sunday.

Mood music:

Here’s the basics from the Burlington Free Press:

The body of Rutland Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Michael Garofano, 55, was found Monday near the raging brook feeding the Rutland city reservoir he and his 24-year-old son, Mike, went to check Sunday afternoon.

The younger Garofano is missing and “feared dead,” state emergency management officials said. A search was under way for his body.

As Joan said on her Facebook page yesterday: “The whim of fate can be incomprehensibly cruel and unfair.”

There’s not much I can say about this other than that I’m sad and my heart aches for Joan and her family.

I’m going to keep praying for them and I ask that you do the same.

I’ll end with a couple random thoughts:

–First, this quote from Mister Rogers rings true, and, understanding his words as I do, I know this family will pull through:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.

–In times like these it can be easy to wonder how the fuck God allows these things to happen. I wanted to kick God in the guts when my brother died, when my parents divorced, when my friend Sean Marley committed suicide. When the unthinkable happens, it becomes impossible to comprehend the big plan.

But as Mister Rogers said, the helpers always come. They always help you through the ugly stuff.

This will be no exception.

But that doesn’t make this suck any less.

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