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A Time To Heal

December 27, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

For the Emmetsburg community, the last two weeks have been filled with shock, sadness and questions. The tragic accident that would claim the life of another of our young people has left many in the community, especially school classmates, shocked, shaken and searching for answers.

What made this situation even more devastating was the news that just a day before the accident, the daughter of the family had been diagnosed with a serious illness, one which will require lengthy treatment.

As the news of these two tragedies filtered through the high school in Emmetsburg on Dec. 15, the atmosphere changed from the normal bustle to one of quiet contemplation. Students sought out counselors, and the district responded with an opportunity for students to gather in the auditorium that morning to hold their classmates and friends up in meditation and prayer.

These efforts continued on Saturday after his passing, as counselors again returned to the school for students who wished to visit with them and help them as they tried to process their grief.

The support efforts continued through the start of the following week, as students continued to deal with the reality that a classmate was no longer in the hallways, hanging out with his friends, singing in the chorus. The students have banded together to support each other in their loss, and also to support the family, first as they grieve their son, and as they prepare to face a new battle with their daughter's illness.

The community has also come together in its support, with acts of kindness, donations and an outpouring of love and compassion for an Emmetsburg family, even though they live in Graettinger, they have long been an integral part of this community.

But while we have seen such a wonderful outpouring of support for the Williams family during this difficult time, we also need to remember another family affected by this tragedy as well - the emergency responders of our community who responded to the accident that Friday morning. The Police officers, Sheriff's Deputies, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians, as well as passers-by who all joined together to do all that they could in a time of extreme stress. For them, there is also grief and heartache, and we also need to reach out to them and give them our heartfelt thanks and support for the difficult job that they do.

As a new year looms ahead of us in a few short days, let us all hope that our communities will heal from the grief that we have endured in this past year. It has been a difficult year, to be sure, but we must hold hope that the new year will hold better times for us all.



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