I have just finished reading Lauren Bosi’s letter regarding her sister that she lost to breast cancer. I have never lost a sibling, but my daughter, also named Lauren, has. You see I lost my son, Willie (William Chance Wilkinson) on 5-25-05 at the age of 19, due to an automobile accident. It turned our world and our family upside down. Almost 3 years later, I can still say it hurts just as much, but it is somehow different. I know that my daughter, age 15 at the time, struggled with bringing up her brother because her friends and school mates, who were also his friends and school mates would look down and it was very uncomfortable. She said to me, "Am I just not even supposed to mention him or talk about him?"
The answer of course was no. Just remember people do not know what to do, so try to be forgiving of them for this. I talk about my son all of the time. I decided that if it makes people uncomfortable at times, that’s their problem. I have found that when I open dialogue up about Willie, they usually have learned to join in and give me their memories, which are so precious. The one thing we never want is for our loved ones to be forgotten. It seems like, when you lose someone there could be no greater pain; sometimes other’s reactions add even more to this pain. Be patient. I have been very fortunate to work with great people and to belong to a community that has held us up throughout our time. I always have to remember that my son, who was so funny, loving and vibrant, would never have wanted to be responsible for ruining our lives with his death. I go on, which is not easy, but becomes softer, because he means so much to me. God Bless.
-Carlene Hall, mom of William "Willie" Chance Wilkinson