Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Burden

Last night, on their E:60 program, ESPN aired a story of Alicia Shay and her challenges of carrying on since her husband Ryan died during the men's Olympic Trials Marathon last November.

It was heart wrenching to see the grief that she still carries with her. In one part of the interview, she talked about how she wished she could say that she always felt Ryan's presence with her. But, to be honest, there's mostly a void that has been left.

She spoke of rushing to the hospital thinking that Ryan had just fallen and hit his head and that everything would be alright. Imagine the shock and horror as she stumbled into a chaotic ER where the doctors and nurses were working on Ryan in full trauma mode.

Then, she sat with her dead husband, his body still warm, waiting for him to open his mouth, take a breath and wake up. But, as we all know, the happy ending never came about.

Alicia carries on with her own training in trying to make the Oly team at 1,500 meters. But what a burden she carries. She carries the weight of her own hopes and expectations of making the trip to Beijing. She carries the weight of all those who want to see her overcome her grief. And she carries the weight of all those, including herself I suspect, who want her to run, in part, to keep Ryan's memory alive.

Such a heavy burden for such small shoulders.


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