Death of a Child, No Matter the Age

My son-in-law, Simon, disappeared on August 9.  While he and my daughter were divorced, he was the father of our very first grandchild and he remained always in our thoughts, if not in our lives that frequently.  It has been an exasperating and frightening time as we all grappled with the why of his disappearance.  The complications of filing a missing person report were overwhelming.  The police don’t really address adult missing person cases with a serious effort if there is no sign of foul play.  Adults can go where they want, when they want. Could he have absented himself due to some unknown personal pressure and was merely clearing his head? Where could he have gone?  As the days dragged on, we theorized that he would surely return for the first day of his teaching this past Monday.

He was found yesterday, August 22, oddly enough, off a ramp from Route 29 to West Ox Rd in the heart of busy Fairfax, not far from where his family was living and his school is located.  He was riding a motorcycle and went off the ramp, likely on August 9th, landing apparently in deep brush.  He was found by a landscaping crew doing routine maintenance.  It is unimaginable to think of him lying there, all this time, unnoticed and perhaps suffering at some point.

This is a very sad time for our family, especially for his young son, but we are grateful to finally have closure.  Simon was a special education teacher and Junior Varsity Coach in Fairfax.  He loved his job and as a teacher of emotionally disturbed adolescents, he contributed to their lives.

He was not a young child.  He was the age of my children and his unexpected loss foreshadows every parental fear of their child preceding them. While Simon is no longer with us, his being found was a gift.  The loss is great.

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