07 June 2011

Holding someone's hand

Have some tissues handy? Good, 'cause you'll need them. A recent StoryCorps segment on NPR came from Max Voelz, who served in a Army bomb squad unit with his wife, Kim. They were both deployed to Iraq in 2003 where she was killed while disarming an explosive on a mission.

Here's part of Max's story, but you should click the link and listen to the full audio.

The nurses were telling me to talk to her because they assured me that they had seen people come out of comas before and that they remembered hearing things that people said.

I mean, what are you gonna tell your wife who's dying? That you love her and you don't want her to die. But I knew she was dead a long time before the doctors stopped working on her. You hold someone's hand, and then it feels different.
This story obliterates my heart. And I know it seems callous to look at it from a technical storytelling point-of-view, but...I'm going to anyway: what I like is that there is no agenda. There is no pre-determined "and therefore..." at the end. This is one specific story about two real people, and it could spawn so many different emotions and reactions and conversations.

Still, absolutely tragic.

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