“…and seven others”

“…and seven others.” I’ve heard that ending to a sentence countless times the past two weeks. It was a tragic event but a very sad sentence. Seven other lives were cut short in that helicopter crash. Not a follower of sports, I heard and read about him. I know more about him in death than just a famous name while alive.

“…and seven others.” I made a point to look up their names and learn more about who they left behind and what their lives were like. Very interesting stuff. I needed to deliberately look up their names because his name kept popping up. That is, he and his daughter. Their’s was the front of each printed and spoken sentence with those ending three words.

A celebrity remains one even in death, sometimes becoming more famous with exaggerated attributes. New rule: Ask to see a manifest before flying. If the unlikely happens, you don’t want to be publicly remembered as “…and many others died.” If the manifest is a usual list of ordinary people and I’m flying with them then I can imagine the news report: “A famous priest (self-imposed adjective) ‘and many others’ died today aboard…”

The unknown persons behind you and alongside of you at Mass are as important as the tush behind you.

“…and seven others.” John and Keri Altobelli, 56 and 46, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 45, Christina Mauser, 38. John and Keri’s daughter, Alysa, 14, Ara Zobayan, 50.

My headline would have read, “The Altobelli family of three died today in a helicopter crash along with a retired someone of some repute and his daughter.”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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