Admissions...College and Otherwise

I know, I said I wouldn't write about Them anymore, but the eldest of the Unnamed Younger Ones has once again touched my heart...as children are want to do.

He emailed me the following answer to a college admissions essay and asked for my feedback. I think he was also letting me into his head and heart. Grieving is a very personal and individual process- there is no one "right" way, no set time for mourning...Grief trickles through our conscious and unconscious minds, filling every little crack and crevice. I think of water poured into a vase full of pebbles when I think of the way I miss my father.

My son has given me a gift, whether he knows it or not. I'm sure he probably doesn't see what I see in his sharing of this treasure. He would say it is what it is and I am once again making too much of things...But I think not.

While life goes on much as usual, we each must make something out of our shared memories and painful loss. We look deceptively "normal" to the outside world. But when the boy opens the window into his soul, even a tiny bit, it reminds me we never alone with our grief. It is a comfort, I hope, to both of us.

3. Describe a mistake that you'’ve seen some leader make, and tell us what you would have done differently. Please keep in mind that the leader in question doesn'’t have to be prominent; instead, the person could be someone in your community, your school, or your household-—maybe even you yourself. (250 words)

Head over heels, my grandfather entered the grave. He was merely ashes at that point, stored in a modest cardboard box. Before his death, he was a dedicated minister and teacher. Despite this, the pastor in charge of the interment ceremony bent down slightly and tossed Granddaddy into the hole. The priest let gravity take my grandfather three feet down when he was supposed to be ensuring his journey many miles upward.

I watched disbelief spread like a wave around the circle of family members. Their eyes fixated on the cylindrical hole as my grandfather bumped and tumbled into his final resting place like a man in a barrel going over Niagara Falls.

The pastor was the leader of the ceremony, the emcee of mourning and remembrance. He failed to recognize the somber respect required of him, especially conveying our beloved elder into his grave. Though nondescript and simple, the cardboard container held the epicenter of our family. Handling it required respect and care.

That box was my grandfather. Though Granddaddy had a propensity for misadventure, the priest should have gently placed him on the floor of the hole. One in a position of leadership must realize the effect of every choice he makes on the people in his charge and must act in the best interest of his followers.

When a leader makes a decision that does not jibe with those who placed him in authority, he loses their respect.

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