Lorelei stated rather matter-of-factly the other day that the next time we go out of town, our house will burn down again.  And of course I told her that will not happen, that it is very, very rare for a family to suffer such a random, terrible accident.
That’s one aspect of this situation that makes it difficult and strange:  I’ve never been close to anyone this has happened to.  I don’t have experience knowing how to feel or what to do, and I can’t really explain to people what this feels like.  “I can’t even imagine,” they say.  I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it either, before.  Even if I did imagine it, I would not have truly felt the way I feel now.
My friend Katie and her family suffered a far worse tragedy than ours when her teenage son died last year.  She, too, has written of the strangeness of being part of a club that no one wants to join–in her case, the “very undesirable club of grieving parents“–of feeling “like a Martian” as others go on with their everyday lives even though her world has changed forever.  I think in a small way I understand that better now.
Katie’s tragedy continues every day, as she not only continues to grieve for her lost son, but she must also fight to bring those who supplied him with the drugs that killed him to justice.  The KCSO closed his case, the Knoxville News-Sentinel dragged his name through the mud with a sensational, poorly researched article,  and its classless commenters sling mud at Henry and his mother on a regular basis.
Katie is a good person.  She used the powerful platform of her nationally recognized blog to promote a fund to help our family through this tragedy, even though we have only met in person a handful of times.  Her writing has raised awareness of the prescription drug addiction problem and has already helped some addicts turn their lives around.  She allowed WBIR to make a documentary about Henry which is being shown in schools as well as online, and is changing the way parents talk to their kids about drugs.  She started Henry’s Fund, which provides scholarships to drug treatments programs to help other kids like Henry.  All this while working full-time, seeking justice for her son, and raising four other children, one who was born just weeks after her big brother died.
Katie is helping me, and I am asking you to help her.  Will you go here and learn how you can promote this story through Twitter and Facebook?  If you have any contacts in the media, will you consider sharing Henry’s story with them?  Thank you.


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