One of our students died. The news reports said he died in bed over break. He was an athlete, on the *** team, they said.
I recognized the name because he was in one of my classes a few years ago, a pleasant enough young man, not outstanding amongst the many students. He wasn't super student, but he participated and didn't miss many classes or show up drunk. I knew he was on a team because it came up, but here at NWU, athletics don't run the school mostly, so it wasn't a big deal to me.
But died in bed, over break? Wow. There's got to be more to it than that, though I'll never know.
In the 80s, I remember a code for people who died of AIDS but whose families didn't really want people to know. At least, pretty much people I knew assumed that a young person (often male) who'd died after a "protracted" or "extended" illness died of AIDS. But I don't make that assumption these days, mostly because people aren't so reticent about talking about AIDS or being gay (though IV drug use probably gets hidden more, still).
Here in the Northwoods, though, my mind goes more to some really bad drug or a drinking binge. Or an illness? Something related to his athletics?
I feel sorry for his parents. I can't imagine much harder in life than your child dying.