OXFORD, Mich. – There is absolutely nothing you can say to comfort a parent who is grieving the loss of a child. That was one of the hardest parts about my interview with Tate Myre’s father.
Tate Myre was 16 years old when he was killed during a school shooting at Oxford High School. His dad, Buck Myre, bravely agreed to sit down with us for an interview.
For the first time since losing his son, Buck opened up about his tremendous grief and heartbreak. There were so many moments when you could feel his pain. Everyone in the room could feel it. It was undeniable.
As a parent with school-aged children, this hits hard. I asked Buck to describe what the morning of Nov. 30 looked like at the Myre house. He rehashed the whole morning, and I could see it playing out in my head, like a scene in a movie.
Buck said Tate’s mother even started his car for him, and then he watched him drive off. That’s what got me. The Myres watched their son drive off to school and had absolutely no idea that it would be the last time they would see him alive.
I know there aren’t any guarantees in life, but I think every parent would agree: Seeing your children off to school in the morning shouldn’t be a time of dread or high anxiety.
Some mornings, getting four little people out the door for school on time is harder than running a marathon. No lie -- usually four out of the five days a week are rough ones.
By the time they’re at school and I’ve pulled away from the building, inevitably, there’s been one fight, someone screaming and several of us in tears -- one of them is usually me.
Depending on the day, there’s usually one big dust up. The hardest part is the goodbye. Let me explain: When the morning doesn’t go smoothly, the goodbyes are typically not the most heartfelt. When everyone behaves and we’re happy, we take turns during the ride to school sharing what we’re grateful for. That always ends with me slobbering them all with a gazillion kisses and waving frantically until I see them disappear into the building.
If the morning is rough, the goodbyes usually match. I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve driven away from the school upset, and about a half hour later my mom guilt and sadness kick in.
The hardest part is the goodbye. I hate leaving things off that way. Especially lately -- I can’t help but wonder, “What if?” What if something happens at school that day, and that would be the way we left things off?
When a grieving parent opens up to share details of their incredible heartbreak, and all that raw emotion is there on display, you have to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this? What can I do better as a parent?”