Recently one of my coworkers, Ivan, passed away. Ivan was an amazing person. What I admired most about Ivan was his ability to be friends with so many different types of people. I do not know one person that disliked him, and considering the drama present in my workplace, this was especially miraculous.
While I have experienced several deaths throughout my life, this is the first death I had experienced where I was acutely aware of just how much the way people choose to grieve affects others.
Ivan died when he was hit by a drunk driver who fled the scene of the accident. When I was at Ivan's funeral, I heard screeching tires several times outside the funeral home. Each time I fought back tears when the sound caused me to picture the accident that killed him. I thought to myself, "If only those people knew about this wonderful man inside that died young because of someone driving recklessly, maybe they would drive a little safer." I recently became aware that the screeching tires was something done intentionally by people in "honor" of Ivan. I have been racking my brain trying to understand it, but I can't. How does one makes sense of people driving unsafely to "honor" someone who was killed in a car accident? When something tragic happens, the only solace one can usually find is in what people will learn from it; when nothing is learned, where does one find comfort?