A Good Boy Gone Way Too Soon




I have received so many calls and notes of support since the devastating loss of Ryan Adams. All beautiful and deeply appreciated. One in particular has sustained me. Duncan Edwards is the Executive Director of Waterside School in Stamford. He is a special man, as you will see in his note below, and a dear friend. I could not keep his words to myself. Our whole community needs the comfort and love contained within. I chose the truest statement from Duncan’s note as my title.


Dear Mark,

Reading through the local papers this morning, read of the crash of a small plane in upstate NY.  Saw that two who died tragically were fairly local and students at Colgate.  Felt awful for the families and for all those affected but, sad but true, there seem to similar tragedies reported every day and my distance from the pain and heartache appeared to be a safe one.

That all changed when I got to the office this morning and discovered that one of those lost was/is one of yours.  I thought of you, your teachers, all his friends, his family and, most of all, his sister. I could not help but sense and see and feel more clearly the pain, the hurt, the loss, the tears.  And I thought of a place, one of great joy and spirit and purpose, now with halls filled with sadness, grief and despair.  Seemed only right to craft some magically healing words but, I’m afraid, life does not work that way though I know we both wish it did.

All that can be done now is for all of you to be there for one another; to find some strength in the deep hurt shared; to do whatever can be done to lessen in even the smallest way the horror of a family’s worst nightmare; to soldier on as he and He would want; and to remember always the goodness of Ryan and the lessons for us all that can be found in the loss of not being able to see the boy become a man.

I am sorry Mark, so sorry.  The greatest joy in your work is being able to share so fully in the beautiful moments that fill so many lives; sadly, maybe unfairly, the greatest cruelty is that you get to share equally in all those moments anything but beautiful.  Endure the latter—cherish the former—love Ryan always—and know that this community grieves in full sympathy with all of yours and with a family in the midst of their bleakest possible day.

This one won’t pass quickly; in fact, likely it will never pass and I am not sure it should.  Lead as you can; love all of yours as you do; and know that the pain—for the family, for you, for Luke’s, for all a part of this tragedy—is simply testament to the goodness and fullness of the souls now grieving and to the vast promise of a good boy lost way too soon.

Strength with and through all of this—be unafraid of shedding tears—stay true—be well.