In what has to be one of the saddest stories I've heard in a long time -- an 18-year-old woman fell and plummeted 400 feet to her death while she was posing for a picture on a rocky ledge at Yellowstone National Park. She was apparently out hiking on the North Rim Trail of the Grand Canyon with friends when she decided to venture off the beaten path to have her picture taken at a spot known as "Inspiration Point." As she sat down on the edge of the 1,500 foot deep canyon, the rocks gave way and there was nothing anyone could do to save her.
And what makes this story even more devastating is that she was planning on spending her entire summer at Yellowstone working with a concessions company -- and the accident happened on her very first day on the job.
My heart absolutely sunk when I heard about what happened to this poor girl, because I can't even begin to fathom what must have been going through her mind during her last final seconds. She had to have realized she was about to lose her life and was powerless to stop herself from falling.
And what makes the accident so much harder to stomach is the excitement she must have been feeling after kicking off her summer working at one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Being that she was only 18, she had a whole life of adventures ahead of her. To have them taken away simply because she wanted to have a photograph to commemorate her journey is just nothing short of tragic.
My condolences go out to her family, because I can't think of anything more horrifying as the parent of a teenager than to finally cut the cord & let your daughter out into the world -- only to have the unthinkable happen. As much as all parents want to keep their kids safe -- there's also a point where you have to let go and allow them to find their own way in life. Perhaps her family can find some peace in the fact that their daughter was chasing her dreams and living her life to fullest -- even though her time was cut short in such a terrible way.
My thoughts and prayers are definitely with them as they try and come to terms with their unimaginable loss.
What words of sympathy would you offer to this family?
Image via Redeo/Flickr