The big news yesterday on Twitter, and in the podiobook community, was the devastating loss of Tee Morris‘ wife Natalie, also the mother to their young daughter, the infamous “Sonic Boom”.
When you see something like this happen to someone you know, different things go through your mind. I can’t speak for everyone else, but this is what went through mine:
1. Utter shock.
2. The overwhelming desire to comfort Tee and family.
3. A total feeling of helplessness as I realized there was nothing I could do about #2.
4. Anger, both at said helplessness and at the thought of such a person being taken from a colleague, mentor, someone I admire, and one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know.
5. A search for any words to express a sliver of 1-4 to the family.
After 24 hours, I still can’t think of anything I could say that would make it easier, or that hasn’t been said already. As a writer, shouldn’t this be my strong suit? Isn’t it with a command of words that I do what I do? Expressing an emotion, a consolation, a hope for a better tomorrow for those that are grieving… shouldn’t that be the moment that I (and all the rest of us author types) shine?
It’s frustrating. There is not a word, a sentence, or entire library I could compile to adequately express what I want. As a writer there is nothing worse than being unable to find the words. “My deepest sympathies”, “If there’s anything I can do…”, and “My thoughts/prayers are with you” feel tired and overused and paltry. I did send something to that effect, as it was all I could do, but it felt hollow. There’s so much more I’m thinking and feeling. It’s hundreds of things mashed together in one big lump of something I can’t describe. Mostly I just want to hug them both.
But amidst all this helplessness, someone did do something. Late last night (for me anyway), the amazing Miss Philippa Ballantine set up a ChipIn.com site where people can make a donation to take some of the financial burden off of Tee during this time of hardship. The money goes directly to Tee’s paypal account, and as I understand it, there are folks working on setting up a trust fund for Sonic Boom. You can donate to the cause here and sign up for the trust fund info here.
The response thus far has been an incredible outpouring of love (in a monetary form, but that’s about all we can do at the moment). I know I’m stunned by what’s been accomplished in less than 24 hours, I only hope it serves to give Tee a little reassurance and comfort in knowing that he is not alone. He means more to us than we can say. Here’s hoping our actions speak louder than the words we cannot find.
We love you, Tee!
Update: 10 January, 2010
A website has been set up for the auction with proceeds going to benefit Sonic Boom. The online event will be held on February 27th. All information regarding this can be found here.