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Friends and family help a dying boy celebrate Halloween a bit early.
September 3, 2002 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Friends and family help a dying boy celebrate Halloween a bit early. His costume? The Grim Reaper.
posted by o2b (39 comments total)

 
Strong kids touch me like nothing else.

via Fark.
posted by o2b at 9:33 AM on September 3, 2002


Holy crap, this one got me. Boy tells his dad to "be tough." I am in tears.
posted by drinkcoffee at 9:57 AM on September 3, 2002


What a sweet, touching story.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:58 AM on September 3, 2002


That's a fantastic story.
posted by ctartchick at 10:05 AM on September 3, 2002


i'm so glad he got to have fun....and the neighbors rock!!!
posted by amberglow at 10:07 AM on September 3, 2002


That kid is John Wayne cool.
posted by pjdoland at 10:21 AM on September 3, 2002


That is so profoundly sad, gosh...

Well, good on ya, kiddo. Hope you got lots of good candy and had a blast. And way to give Death the finger, by dressing up and mocking him.

I only hope my last days are filled with so much love.
posted by evanizer at 10:42 AM on September 3, 2002


wow. just ... wow.
posted by whatnot at 10:47 AM on September 3, 2002


That's very sad. My little brother had cancer at that age, and thank god he lived, but that was a very touching story. Makes me very thankful that my four-year-old is healthy.
posted by adampsyche at 10:50 AM on September 3, 2002


God has some explaining to do.
posted by UncleFes at 10:53 AM on September 3, 2002


Christ. Now I'm all a mess.
posted by brittney at 11:28 AM on September 3, 2002


"Dad, you cry like a baby. We've got to be tough."

That's the line that got the tears going in my eyes. Sounds like it had a similar effect on everyone else. How melancholy.
posted by untuckedshirts at 11:35 AM on September 3, 2002


Stuff like this is why I have a tough time believing in god.

I believe in people instead.
posted by Argyle at 11:49 AM on September 3, 2002


(speechless)
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 12:00 PM on September 3, 2002


I'm with you, Argyle. When people of traditional religions ask me how I can have a genuine spiritual faith in Humanity in light of all the wrong people can do, a story like this one provides the answer. That kid just embodies my reason for living.
posted by Fenriss at 12:06 PM on September 3, 2002


Brendan's prescient costuming brought back an old memory for me. I know it was Halloween of 1996, because I remember dressing up like Bob Dole and lamely copying Norm Macdonald's Dole impersonation. My good friend went for simplicity, affixing fake bullet holes to his forehead with a dash of fake blood. He died in a single-car accident just about three months ago, at age 19. This story has brought the events of that evening back to me with crystal clarity.

As long as we're mixing melodrama and Halloween, I'd like to make note of the brilliant Halloween interlude from Rent:
How could a night so frozen be so scalding hot?
How can a morning this mild be so raw?
Why are entire years strewn
On the cutting room floor of memory
When single frames from one magic night
Forever flicker in close-up
On the 3-D Imax of my mind?
That's poetic
That's pathetic

posted by Fourmyle at 12:15 PM on September 3, 2002


That boy has a strong soul. He'll be back some day...
posted by Jade Dragon at 1:17 PM on September 3, 2002


goosebumps and tears..
posted by brand-gnu at 1:19 PM on September 3, 2002


I haven't been able to do a stitch of work, since reading that article. I even had to leave my desk and take some alone time in a washroom stall, for fear of becoming a sobbing mess in front of my co-workers.

If anyone deserves a miracle, it's that brave little boy.

-phil
posted by saturn5 at 1:21 PM on September 3, 2002


Deserves a miracle? That little boy is a miracle. This kind of story makes you believe in some kind of a god, and hope for some kind of future life, if only for folks like him.
posted by arisbe at 1:28 PM on September 3, 2002


I don't wish to enter into a debate about whether or not there is a God, but a story like this only reinforces my belief that there is not.

At the risk of sounding trite, what kind of God would allow such suffering?

-phil
posted by saturn5 at 1:37 PM on September 3, 2002


Sounds like it had a similar effect on everyone else.

No, it's just that those of us who are unaffected by a story such as this one don't usually post comments about them.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2002


No, it's just that those of us who are unaffected by a story such as this one don't usually post comments about them.

Obviously, by posting that, your intent was to provoke some hostility. I feel sorry for the pathetic, unfeeling souls, such as yourself, that walk amongst the rest of us. You're pitiful.

-phil
posted by saturn5 at 3:18 PM on September 3, 2002


Obviously, by posting that, your intent was to provoke some hostility.

My intent was to note for the record that not everyone is particularly moved by that story, and that one should not assume that everyone is so moved, just because all the comments up to that point were from people who were moved by the story. If it did provoke hostility, then I apologize, for such was not my intent.

I feel sorry for the pathetic, unfeeling souls, such as yourself, that walk amongst the rest of us. You're pitiful.

Obviously, by posting that, your intent was to provoke some hostility.

What in my post leads you to believe that I am a "pathetic, unfeeling soul?" Do you assume that if I feel no emotional response to this story, I cannot possibly feel an emotional response to any story? If so, your assumption is in error.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:47 PM on September 3, 2002


Do you assume that if I feel no emotional response to this story, I cannot possibly feel an emotional response to any story?

If this story provokes not one iota of emotion within you, it is my opinion that you do, indeed, have something very much wrong with you.

IMHO, there is nothing more moving than a dying child.
posted by saturn5 at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2002


phil, this must be the first troll you've met. They are the people who come into a thread just to say it sucks, that they are untouched, that they don't care, yawn, and other such things that in no way contribute to, and quite often derails a thread. They frequently haunt threads which promote human compassion, or involve dying/abused children, because there's currently a trend in which it's rather chic to (appear to) not care, especially about dying/abused children.

When called out, they will provide logical reasons for why they said it (such as, "Hey, he said that EVERYONE was touched, I just had to set the record straight," when it was obvious that the context of everyone did in fact apply--quite accurately--to everyone who'd responded in the thread thus far, as opposed to everyone in existence), possibly presenting their feelings in a straight-forward manner designed to make them seem intellectual, while those who inevitably respond with anger are seen as overly emotional, and thus easily dismissed.

The point is to rile the emotions, then have the justifiably riled appear to be morons--this is how the troll gets his thrill. It's a dirty cycle. You can help end it by not feeding the troll, rather, ignoring his presence. Those who allow such things as the "over-rated" triumph of the human spirit to touch them can continue to do so, while the troll can go elsewhere to find "easy pickins," and both parties will experience optimal mutual enjoyment.
posted by precocious at 4:50 PM on September 3, 2002


I haven't even read the damn thing yet and I'm all choked up. Man.
posted by Witty at 5:17 PM on September 3, 2002


At the risk of sounding trite, what kind of God would allow such suffering?

The suffering we all experience from day to day seems less relevant if you accept that our lives are transitory. When you view your existence as nothing but preparation for the afterlife, your perspective tends to change a wee bit.

But yeah, this story got to me.
posted by Galvatron at 5:38 PM on September 3, 2002


Hey I think its a sad story.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:45 PM on September 3, 2002


precocious, I am quite aware of the animal we so call TROLL, and I deliberately fed this one. Sometimes I am unable to keep my emotional reaction to a situation in-check, when faced with such antipathy. Nevertheless, your TROLLS-101, although slightly condescending, was duly appreciated.
posted by saturn5 at 6:14 PM on September 3, 2002


I'm feeling a bit odd about this thread. Usually I, too, would keep silent about my lack of emotion, but it bothered me when several of you piled on DevilsAdvocate. In order to refute the assumption that every reader must be profoundly affected, he simply spoke for many of us when he said he was unaffected by this story.

While I'm sure many of you who responded above are shaking your heads and wondering how I can be so heartless, I am shaking my head and wondering how you can be so upset by a news story to the point of being unable to work.

My point is that just because I don't get weepy when reading a news article about a child with a fatal disease, that doesn't mean that I (or DevilsAdvocate or anyone else) am heartless. The same information presented to me in real life, or a movie, or a novel might very well move me to tears.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:53 PM on September 3, 2002


(psst...gravy, over here)

Anyway, that kid is a trooper. Giving Death the big "nyah nyah nyah nyah" is rocking in my book.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:01 PM on September 3, 2002


saturn5 and precocious, if you sought to provoke hostility, you have now succeeded. I was honestly not trying to troll before; if I had been, I would have been much more provocative, for example:
If this story provokes not one iota of emotion within you, it is my opinion that you do, indeed, have something very much wrong with you.

IMHO, there is nothing more moving than a dying child.


Well, then, please provide the saturn5-approved scale of how much I should be moved by stories of various tragic events so that I may be considered a normal human being! I was very much saddened earlier today when I simply recalled the case, several years ago, of a mother (the wife of a friend of my father's, if you must know) who died rather suddenly leaving two young children. I think that a parent dying when their children are young is especially tragic, but apparently I'm inhuman because that doesn't measure up to a dying child on the saturn5 scale.

By the way, how do you ever manage to get any work done at all, knowing that thousands of children die on this planet every day? Or does your stated attitude--"there is nothing more moving than a dying child"--in fact only apply to a very small fraction of dying children?

They are the people who come into a thread just to say it sucks, that they are untouched, that they don't care, yawn, and other such things that in no way contribute to, and quite often derails a thread. They frequently haunt threads which promote human compassion, or involve dying/abused children, because there's currently a trend in which it's rather chic to (appear to) not care, especially about dying/abused children.

Absolutely right, precocious!! Judge whether or not I am a troll based on my posts in this thread. Don't bother checking whether my 130+ previous posts tend to indicate whether or not I'm the sort of person who trolls purely for getting some sort of cheap thrill out of the reaction of others!

Apparently it's so completely impossible that anyone would not be moved by a dying child, that the only explanation for a post such as mine--since it's unthinkable that different people might have different emotional reactions to the same story, after all we're all clones, right?--is that it's by someone who is moved but is lying about the fact for his own cheap trolling thrills.
That would be a post based purely on anger, and worthy of being called a troll.

it was obvious that the context of everyone did in fact apply--quite accurately--to everyone who'd responded in the thread thus far, as opposed to everyone in existence

It was not obvious to me, and in retrospect you're right. In the future, I'd invite you to remember the maxim, "Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity."

Sometimes I am unable to keep my emotional reaction to a situation in-check

Then you and I have at least that in common, as you see above.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2002


Sounds like it had a similar effect on everyone else.

Clearly, that sentence is referring to everyone who had posted a comment. It's not as if I said, "Sounds like it will have a similar effect on everyone else." And why after reading an article you didn't enjoy, in a thread full of people that did, would you bother picking such an insignificant bone?

I guess you were just standing up for all the Mefi'ites who wouldn't post a comment in this thread. . . by posting a comment in this thread.

Anyway, great post. Too bad the thread got derailed, though.
posted by untuckedshirts at 8:07 PM on September 3, 2002


yeah...we needed some more moving and emotional commentary on just how "moved" we were by this touching article.

Thanks DevilsAdvocate for making this thread interesting.

btw, I was slightly "moved" by this article.
posted by wrench at 9:13 PM on September 3, 2002


Clearly, that sentence is referring to everyone who had posted a comment.

When I first read it, that was not clear to me, as I already admitted in my previous post. I now see my error, and regret my first post in this thread (but not any of the subsequent ones).

And why after reading an article you didn't enjoy, in a thread full of people that did, would you bother picking such an insignificant bone?

1) I wasn't moved by it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it--I find it admirable that the boy accepts his iminent death so well, just not moving. 2) Again, I misinterpreted the meaning of "everyone" in your post, and responded to challenge the meaning I erroneously perceived in your sentence.

I don't think of myself as a troll, and I don't usually comment in threads I'm not particularly interested in--a case in point is any post on baseball, which I carefully avoid commenting on, despite the fact that I am sorely tempted to, when so many people seem interested in a game that is, to me, rather tedious at best.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:37 PM on September 3, 2002


Say, DevilsAdvocate, I think you've been counter-trolled. (I'm not even sure what that means, but sounds about right). Shrug it off, I think precocious thinks I'm a troll too, and vice versa. I think we're in Love, really.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:07 PM on September 3, 2002


I work in a hospital, so I'm exposed to this sort of thing pretty regularly.. The children's hospital area of the medical campus is very happily decorated, with salt water fish tanks, little flying blimps, and stuff. It looks like a carnival. I'm always happy to see the number of people willing to go through a lot, including walking around all day in the wards wearing clown suits, and bunny suits, and other uncomfortable apparel, simply because it makes children happy.
posted by phidauex at 12:02 AM on September 4, 2002


I don't think of myself as a troll, and I don't usually comment in threads I'm not particularly interested in--a case in point is any post on baseball, which I carefully avoid commenting on, despite the fact that I am sorely tempted to, when so many people seem interested in a game that is, to me, rather tedious at best.

This is thrilling stuff, DevilsAdvocate. Please tell us more about things that don't interest you.
posted by rcade at 10:45 AM on September 4, 2002


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