Lake Ridge Parents Write Obituaries for Their Children


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“No parent should have to write their own child’s obituary…as I wrote it I could not help but think that it could happen,” Allison Blackwell, mother of senior Noah Blackwell, said.

As part of the Put it Down Save a Life tradition, the parents of the students participating in the event had to write an obituary (eulogy) of their child who “died” as a result of a car crash from texting while driving.

It was heartbreaking to write the obituary. Even though I knew the program wasn’t real, everything I said in the obituary was real, so it made it even harder,” Bailey Cook’s mother, Lori Cook said.

The parents had to treat the obituary as if it were real, to have the strong impact of the dangers of  texting while driving. The parents used the obituary to tell stories of their child of when they were alive, what kind of affect they had on people, and what goals they had in the future.

“It was easy to say kind things about my son. I kept trying to focus on the program and how it might help someone in the future. After I wrote it, it kind of hit me and I got a little teary-eyed,” Austin Roth’s mother, Kara Roth said.

Although each parent was given instructions for the task, a couple of paragraphs were not enough to describe their child.

If someone did not know my son, the words were inadequate.  The impact that it left on me was harsh. I hope I never have to do it for real,” Roth added.

The experience left an impact on some of the families who did take part in the event. The impression was left as a reminder of the severity of something that seems so simple. It can have serious consequences such as taking a life.

“I cried the entire time I was writing it. It felt so real.  I called my son’s that are away at college and told them to please be careful driving and explained why I was so upset. They both understood and then kept calling me through the night to make sure everyone was OK. I couldn’t sleep that night after writing it. It put life into perspective, it is too short and can be taken away in a minute,” Linda Lampe, mother of Brooke Lampe, said.