Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lost for Words

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy"

Jim is used to wheeling and dealing, but sometimes life has a way of handing you stuff that ain't easy to deal with.

This is one of those times.

What can you say when you hear two of your employees have been killed in a car accident?

The usually upbeat Jim Gilbert's Wheels & Deals used car dealership is in a state of mourning following a tragic triple fatality this past weekend in Fredericton, NB. A Pontiac Firebird veered off the road in the wee hours of Sunday morning, plunging into the St. John river and taking the lives of 23-year old Jesse Schur, 20-year old Matt Swan and 19-year old Joe Bourque. A fourth person, Leah Clowater managed to escape through the Firebird's T-bar roof and has since been treated and released from the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.

Shur and Bourque were Wheels & Deals employees and owner Jim Gilbert admits his staff are having a tough time taking the loss of their two co-workers.

"We are a small business, so everyone knows everyone and we are just shocked. I have read 100 business books and listened to 100 speakers but there is not one line that teaches you how to deal with this. I feel really bad for the mothers of these boys. It is just so tragic."

Schur worked as a mechanic, a job he only started about three weeks ago while Bourque drove the customer shuttle and washed cars. Jim Gilbert was only starting to get to know Schur, but considered Bourque a great employee and a wonderful person.

"Joe came right from Leo Hayes, and he was in one of those work programs and stayed right on afterwards. Everybody loved him. He was a fantastic kid and he never questioned anything."

It's difficult to watch friends or family struggle with the death of a loved one. You want to express your sympathy and regret, finding the right words to bring them comfort is often a monumental challenge.

The best words of comfort you can give is to tell or write about your memories of their loved one. Those memories will be treasured more than you can know.

Upon his return from Joe Bourque's funeral, one of his Wheels & Deals co-workers offered this:

"If he was my son I would have been a proud father. Joe was a good kid, out having a good time and wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobody can ever find the right words ...words are just words, but we're talking about a life that was cut way too short. Joe had so much to look forward to. He and Leo were having a blast restoring a 1985 Chevy half-ton. He was always going to the gym with his Dad. It's really too bad there wasn't more like him. The world would be a better place."

Ordinarily, Wednesday's on this blog are dedicated to "Motorvationally Speaking", the Internet TV show that Jim Gilbert conceived as a way to showcase dreamers and achievers and focus on all the things that are right in the world. As you can appreciate this is no ordinary Wednesday.

Today on TSB we fall silent, honoring the memories of Jesse Shur, Joe Bourque and Matt Swan.

Our thoughts, hugs and prayers are with those they have left behind.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal"
From a headstone in Ireland

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My condolences go out to all their friends and family.