What an incredible loss for you and your family and all of Austin’s friends. For Michael and Daniel.
We met Austin briefly during his first two years at Pierce Hall where our son Michael was a member with him of Shorey House, but we came to know him and so enjoy his company when he, Michael, Daniel and Allison rented the apartment on Kimbark. It was just a year ago we helped the boys move their belongings temporarily into another apartment. We arrived on the tenth floor to find Austin with seven or eight boxes packed and stacked and labeled, while down the hall we found our son just beginning to sort through the drawers. Austin’s “can do” attitude and energy made the move go faster, and I swear, he carried the heaviest boxes.
When we moved more things to the apartment, he was so quick to help and we were so impressed with his stories of online shopping and his efforts to put the bunk beds together. The apartment kitchen always smelled so good and I remember his excitement that his grandma was sending him the right spices for Southwestern cooking. He was just always so cheerful and full of life’s joy; a wonderful roommate for our son in so many ways.
And to me, he was always so assuring. He sensed my over-anxious nature and always soothed my concerns. “We are not as inept as you think we are, “ he said. I still smile at his wording. And when Michael’s choices one night were not the wisest, he and his friends took great care of him. For this, I will always be thankful.
I can only imagine the depth of this loss. We have been following all the news and we walked to Promontory Point last Sunday, knowing our steps were of little use but needing to see the path and the lake. We saw all the posters and found it difficult to understand all the joy of the picnickers when a young man was missing.
And now, I know why Austin was so very special. You must be amazing parents who are now teaching Austin’s friends how to grieve and in that grieving, may you all heal.
If there is anything we can do, please let us know.