Fifteen-year-old Kyle Gunther was killed on Friday, after he was struck and killed by a train. This is a truly horrific story; it's the sort of stuff every parent has nightmares about. You might be asking why Kyle was on the tracks in the first place. He and his friends were playing a game of chicken. Absolutely terrifying. Can you imagine how his friends felt watching this accident unfurl? Just awful.
Kyle was ostensibly the winner as the last of his group to leave the tracks. But it was this act that ultimately cost him his life. His family, friends, and community members who knew him gathered on Sunday to remember him at a quiet, prayerful vigil. But it was where this ceremony was held that made it eerie and remarkable.
Gunther's family chose to have Kyle's vigil at the train tracks where he lost his life. The trains passed the vigil every 20 minutes as people stood there. Can you think of anything more harrowing as a parent? You've already had to lose your kid in this particularly gruesome and awful way, and now you have to be presented with an active physical reminder of how he died when you've come together to remember how he lived? Ugh.
It is absolutely appropriate that his family and friends should gather together to mourn this loss. In fact, it's a necessary part of the grieving process. It's unconscionable that they should have to lose a member of their family and community at such a young age. But surely there are places where they could do this that wouldn't be essentially rubbing salt in the wound? Revisiting the trauma by meeting at the place where he lost his life seems like adding unnecessary layers of awful to an already horrific situation.
Do you think the site of the vigil was too traumatic?
Image via Fox40