We closely followed and covered the 2015 disappearance and search for Rochester Institute of Technology student Max Maisel. The worst fears of the boy’s father, ESPN senior writer Ivan Maisel, and family were sadly confirmed in April. Max’s death is assumed to have been a suicide.
This week, Maisel has penned a powerful essay on Medium, reflecting on a year of grieving and the seismic fissure carved out by the loss of his only son (he also has two daughters). From his piece, titled “On Loss and Grief:”
The death of a child upends the life of a family. It is not a tornado, with a path of destruction visible from NewsCopter 7. It is an earthquake, an upheaval that begins in the epicenter of the nuclear family and spreads outward; from the four of us, to Max’s three grandparents, to his 14 aunts and uncles and his 19 first cousins, to neighbors who watched him grow up, to teachers and friends within the community, to the friends he made in college and online of whom we learned only after he died.
Earthquakes buckle walls and leave crockery in shards on the floor. We are still trying to repair some of the broken pieces of our lives. Some we have put back together with visible scars. Some we haven’t started to fix yet. Some we just swept the debris away. Nothing is as it was.
There is some humor in the essay, too. For example, Maisel can’t believe Max didn’t “stick around” for the new Star Wars. Several of those who have left comments note how the essay resonated with their similar struggle to cope with the loss of an immediate family member.
H/T: Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated