Tree Cutter Died

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It is with great sadness, I report that the tree cutter, mentioned in the previous two posts, has died.

It was quiet this morning between our two houses, as is usual for Sundays, for both my husband and the man who lives next door where the tree was being cut are ministers (of different churches). About 1:00 p.m., I went outside to do some yard work. I feel best when I’m outside, so was praying for the people involved in yesterday’s tragedy while I kept my hands busy.

I was only out front for about five minutes when a car pulled into their driveway. The wife of the man who fell walked slowly between our houses with another man holding her steady. She was crying. I put down my clippers and approached. I wanted to give her my sympathies since I hadn’t been able to do it last night. I wanted to know how her husband was. I knew it had to be bad. I stammered, unsure what to ask. I don’t know her name, or her husband’s name. All I know is they are from Kentucky and friends of our next door neighbors.

“How…” I started. I wished I knew his name so I could personalize my question. “How… is he?”

“He’s dead,” she answered, and returned the hankie to her mouth.

I hugged the stranger and kept repeating, “I am so, so, so sorry.”

When we pulled apart, she told me, “I just needed to come back to this spot again.”

I nodded, and they walked slowly towards the backyard. I went back into the house to give her the quiet, alone time she needed. I am so sad. He was so young.

I know I am being selfish, but I’m glad we weren’t outside to witness the fall. I’m glad we didn’t come up from our basement until the man was in the ambulance so I couldn’t even see his twisted body or blood. We did watch the helicopter come to pick him up a few minutes after the ambulance left our neighborhood, but we didn’t see the fall. Very sadly, several people did. Our next door neighbors, along with friends and relatives, had camped out in the front yard to watch the final tree removal. Some were on chairs, some leaning against one of the many cars in the drive, others just standing around, arms folded and chins pointed high to the activity in the tree top. The group was multigenerational and jovial, cheering each time a large branch fell. I’m still shaking and very sad just knowing it happened. But selfishly…I’m glad I didn’t witness it.

Please pray for the new widow – my guess is she is in her late 20’s – and the others who saw this young man fall to his very untimely death.

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7 thoughts on “Tree Cutter Died

  1. Pingback: Tree Cutter Died « Sandy Carlson's Writing Blog (Michigan) | Tree Trimming Austin

  2. Dear Sandy,
    Your instincts were right. He should have had a harness. They all should be wearing harnesses. He really didn’t know what he was up against or the possible danger. It is a sad fact of youth that people in their teens and twenties think they are invincible. But we know how precious and fragile life is. This was beyond anybody’s control, except his. It was his time. We can never hope to understand the why’s as we stand here on this Earth. There are reasons beyond our understanding. It was his time. That does not eliminate the pain and suffering for his widow or his loved ones, or for those that have witnessed this tragedy. I know one thing for sure. I know you will warn anybody that comes to cut trees that they must wear a harness. But once you have done this, you must let go. They must decide their paths for themselves. This was beyond anybody’s control. I am so sorry for you and your neighbours that you have had this awful tragedy heaped on to these already trying days.
    Be strong,
    ~ Kim

  3. Sandy,

    This is too horrible. I’m sad to read the ongoing trama from that storm. I pray not only for you but all of Battle Creek.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear this. Prayers are being sent out to his wife and family. I’ll add this to our prayer network at work to uplift them during this difficult time. So sad to lose people to tragic accidents such as this.

    Hugs to you and praying for strength to get through the days and weeks ahead as you try to find a new normal in your routine and neighborhood.

    Rachel

  5. Sandy,
    How tragic. Most deaths occure after a storm or hurricane, but this is just too close. I agree that you and Jeff were fortunate not to have seen such a tragic event. Some things we should not see. Prayers to his family.
    Bette

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