Email 23

The first person I told was not a family member.

 

Anticipating having to tell my wife, Jeanne, I called our doctor’s answering service. It was about 3am.

 

The doctor on call was one I didn’t know. I woke him.

 

He sleepily said, “This is the doctor…what are your symptoms?”

 

I told him, “In a minute I have to tell my wife our son was just killed in an accident. I need to have something to give her…so she can handle that.”

 

He woke up immediately, like only a father would. “Oh my God! My God! What happened?” I told him. And at three in the morning
he stayed on the phone to talk, and then said to me, “I’ll call something in. But if there is anything, anything at all I can do, please call me.”

 

There.

 

I had uttered the words, and the reaction was immediately as empathetic as any I have heard since, and that helped me go on.

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