Editor’s note-this was originally published in May of 2006 when I worked in radio.
But it’s also about a warning and a message all of us need to think about from time to time. Life is short. Sometimes life can be measured in seconds.
Four seconds to be more precise.
Rachael Kozlusky was a member of the radio support team that works behind the scenes here. She was here for a very short time. It would be a lie for me to say I knew her well, but I saw her several times every day and we shared the usual sort of office banter about sports and lottery tickets and mornings that were too early.
You’ve no doubt heard and seen the story of how Rachael died.
It’s just the sort of story that the media loves, full of emotion and drama and with enough unanswered questions that it can continue to make the news days after another story of senseless death might have gone away.
She was just 23, with a whole life full of promise in front of her.
She was full of that life, and by all accounts happy with the path she was on.
And it was all ruined in a flash. Four seconds.
That’s how long it took for her to hit the ground after she fell from her high rise apartment.
I grieve for her parents and relatives. I grieve for her friends and for the coworkers here who feel the pain of someone taken too fast, too soon.
But most of all I grieve for poor Rachael. It was 23 years cut short in four seconds. And it need not have been.
Its way beyond me to preach about substance fueled craziness. I have seen it, been there and done that.
At some point, if you’re lucky, you come to realize that it’s not an answer to the exquisite pain that makes us human. You come to understand that there probably is no answer. And if you are even luckier you find a way to live with that.
For whatever reason and I am sure I will never on this world be given the answer, Rachael was denied that chance for understanding. And we all are a little bit more than a little bit poorer for it.
So today please forgive me if I ask you to take just four seconds and think about Rachael.
Now think if you will about the Rachael’s still in your lives and cherish them.
If you can do that maybe the next four seconds of their life and the remaining seconds of their life will be a fitting memory for Rachael Kozlusky.