Editor's Note: You won’t face this trouble alone

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This has not been one of our most upbeat Kent Newss. Our front page for Saturday reflects some pretty devastating realities for the people in our community.

An international child-abduction case, the unanswered anguish of a friend seeking a woman who has been missing since April, and the death of a well-regarded member of our community, through suicide.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t relish putting these stories in print. The people we write about are our neighbors, the people we see every day in town. It is very difficult to chronicle someone else’s pain.

On a personal level, I’ve lived through some trauma of my own (a friend of mine was murdered some years ago) and I remember the attendant ache that came with watching my friend become the news, as the story slowly took shape each night on our television screen. I hated it. And I hated the fact my personal grief had become public fodder (the Everett Herald actually had the gall to send reporters into our high school to interview those of us who knew her.)

Knowing this, I have to ask myself how do we best cover these stories, ensuring respect for the people we are writing about, but also ensuring that the people around them remain well-informed. The biggest issue with a vacuum of information is that it doesn’t remain a vacuum for long. Human nature being what it is, people begin to fill that void by taking their best guesses as to what happened, or didn’t happen. That is how we see our role as a newspaper- dispelling that conjecture.

But sometimes it is a difficult truth to print.

It takes tremendous courage to be open about losing a family member to suicide. It takes amazing emotional fortitude to describe to a complete stranger (a reporter) the very real and intimate feelings we have about someone who is missing, or abducted, and how we are dealing with it.

To those families out there, who are working through these very difficult times, I want you to know how deeply we respect your openness with us.

We pray you will soon have closure. And knowing Kent, we know you will have this town in your court, backing you up, and not letting you face this alone.




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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He is a former president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. Contact thebrunells@msn.com.
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