Hug Your Kid and Say a Prayer


Last night I learned a friend's son was in a car accident and is in critical condition. After a soul-replenishing meal with the Sansei Lunch Club, my BFF Paula wanted to wait until after dinner to tell me the news.

But before she could say a word, I asked if she knew Alexander, son of mutual friends, had just graduated from college last week and that his parents had flown to California to attend the ceremony?

She looked at me and said, "Terri, he's been in a bad accident. They flew to California this morning."

When I got home I asked my youngest son, Charley, if he knew about it. Alexander's dad usually drives their carpool to Google. A sad expression. Yes he knew. It made sense to me now. Charley had driven to work yesterday but I didn't know why.
Trying to make sense of something so senseless, Alexander reeled through my mind as I tried to fall asleep last night. He was my first thought when I awoke.
A bright young man at the beginning of his adult life, his parents were filled with pride last week at his graduation. The pictures on Facebook embody the essence of joy.

I find myself praying for his recovery. I want him to know everyone is pulling for him; to wake up and see his family. I want him to be able to look back on this accident as a survivor. I want him to have the chance to use his newly acquired education, maybe helping to reshape our world. I want him to be able to live happily, and to experience all of the highs and lows that make up a person's life. And maybe someday, to have children of his own.

I'm often blown away by the generosity of friends and acquaintances on social media, and that's why I'm hoping, even if you don't believe in it, that you'll say a prayer for him. You guys, he just has to make it.

Hug your child. Life is fleeting, and as I've always said to my kids, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Thank you to the friends who responded and supported this blog post. Alexander passed away.


  1. Terri,

    You touched my heart with this post...I never had children so I can only imagine the pain that his parents are suffering with.

    I will join you in wishing him a full speedy recovery. Hugs


  2. Dear Jackie,

    Many thanks for the comment & wishes. I'm hoping for some good news.

    Hugs back,


  3. pushing, pulling and sending thoughts that way.

  4. Peachy, thank you for sending out positive vibes for Alexander.

    Warm regards, Terri

  5. Terri,

    "Say a Prayer" I will



    Your friends and

    The Young man

    Plus the medical staff involved.

    May all be blessed with



    Wisdom and


  6. Dear Daniel,

    Thank you so very much for your kindnesses — in sharing, reading and words of support.

    An hour ago I learned Alexander didn't make it. I'm so sad for his family.

    Thank you again.

    Love, Terri

  7. Sorry to hear Alexander passed :( May his soul rest in peace.

  8. Dear Douglas and San,

    This was a really sad day for Alexander's family and friends. We still cannot believe any of this happened.

    Thank you for reading and for your comments.

    (((HUGS))) Terri

  9. Dear Terri,
    I can only offer a hug. There are no words that can possibly comfort anyone involved right now. I send you much love and peace.


  10. Dear June,

    Thank you. I wish I could send the hugs to my friends right now.

    She posted this on her FB page: "Stop, look, and listen. Be present to the wonder of your life."

    Hugs, Terri

  11. I have been so tied up in my own little world I haven't even read twitter. I am just now learning about Alexander. I am so sorry for your loss. May God be with you and his family and provide comfort for you all.

  12. Dear Diane,

    Thank you so much for reading and responding. The loss for his family is devastating, and as their friend, I can only imagine the pain they are experiencing.

    I hope some day it will be possible to make sense of this, but for now all we can do is let them know we will support them in any way we can.

    Warm hugs, Terri

  13. Oh... Terri, now I have perspective on what you just wrote me. No, I had not read this blog post or the comments until just now.

    I'm so sorry for the loss, part of which is yours, too. And yesterday, I was just nagging you for yet more help, I know. As I wrote you, let me again note that even though the last couple times I came knocking it was to ask for your advice, help, ideas, no real friendship is one-way, and I am never one to regard friends as "providers." You call me too, sometime, okay?

    Sympathies from afar,


  14. Anonymous2:08 AM

    So Sad
    So Young

    Although tragic. I believe that all things work together for good to those who love God. May not know the reason for this tragedy until we are "face to face". Only then will it all make sense. Our earthly wisdom fails to understand these kind of tragedies on this side of eternity.

    RIP Alexander

  15. Dear Saul and Karl,

    Sitting at a traffic light one day, the person in front of me didn't go when the light turned green. A thought ran through my mind — maybe that person is dealing with something really heavy right now and that's why they aren't tuned in.

    I guess this is all to say we can't know what someone is going through unless they say something.

    For different reasons I wanted you to read this blog post. Saul, because the other day I was very distracted when we talked about some social media initiatives you are exploring; and for Karl, because I know you're getting ready to travel and I just want you to be mindful to be careful.

    I'm grateful you both took the time to read and respond. Karl, your comment "Our earthly wisdom fails to understand these kind of tragedies on this side of eternity," is something good to offer to Alexander's family and friends. Thank you for sharing that.

    Love to you both,


  16. So sorry to hear of your loss Terri.

    My husband lost his 18-year-old cousin in a hit and run accident just three weeks ago. Senseless.

    His parents are still reeling. Police are no closer to finding the driver.

    One thousand people attended his funeral. He was from a small coastal community.

    Thinking of your friend. I don't pray, but am sending good thoughts and wishes your way for a full recovery.

    Such a waste of precious youth.


  17. Dear Elise,

    I'm so sorry for your husband's loss. You're entirely right—it just makes no sense how things like this happen—but I guess life sometimes does not make sense.

    We are waiting for our friends to return from California and hope we can offer a small amount of comfort, but this is the kind of thing that never really goes away.

    Many thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate all of your support through all of our channels of connectivity.

    Warm regards,


  18. Hey Terri,

    I am getting ready to say my prayers here shortly and will definitely make sure to pray for him, his recovery, and his family! A an unfortunate situation like this happened to an old co-worker of mine whose son I used to play basketball with. Tragically he died in a car accident at the age of 17. He was such a great kid, and very well liked. I still wear his wristband each day on my right arm. Again I will make sure to keep him in my prayers. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Dear Eric,

    Thank you for offering to include Alexander in your prayers. I was so sad to learn he passed away the day I posted this piece, but even so, I'm sure prayers would be welcomed.

    I'm sorry for your co-worker's loss. I can't think of any child's death as less than tragic. Of the people I know who have survived such profound sadness, none can say they truly ever get over it.

    The best I hope for anyone who has experienced a loss like this is that time will soften the sharpness of the pain.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    Warm regards,


  20. Terri,

    I saw your post on my blog. I'm so sorry, I was rootin for him, I guess I was a little late. I will however continue to keep him and his family and friends in my prayers. I hope you have a great weekend!


  21. Dear Eric,

    Thank you for continuing to keep my friends in your prayers. As reality settles in I think more than ever they will need support and positivity from everyone.

    I enjoyed reading your recent blog post & tried to subscribe. Maybe add a subscription button?

    Warm regards,


  22. Anonymous3:25 PM

    How awful for the family. There is nothing worse than losing a child. I watched my Mom do it. Sending prayers to them and to you and your family, Terri. What a nightmare.

  23. Dear Anita,

    It means a lot you took time to read and respond, but more important is your comment about your mom. I know there is a sad story there and hope you and she, as well as friends and family have found the strength to cope with the loss.

    I think of my friends every day. They know their son was an exceptional person who touched a lot of people in his short life. It's everyone's hope to positively impact the world, and he did.



  24. Celebrate life now and always act on promptings! For you never know when anyone's time is coming. Terri, you're an awesome writer even in times of adversity!


  25. Dear Nam,

    First, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post. Most of the things I share here are not so personal, but I was feeling particularly helpless and desperate when I learned about what had happened to my friend's son.

    Second, I'm so happy we have crossed paths and look forward to getting to know you better in the coming months.

    Warm regards,


  26. You are so right Terri, losing someone we love can be devastating. Life is really short and that we should make every effort to show our love ones who are still with us that we love them everyday. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post as a reminder. Will be praying for your friend that in some way they will find comfort in time. One will never be the same again after a tragic experience and will take time to heal.

  27. Dear Misty,

    First, thank you for taking the time to read and for your compassion for my friends. I can't help but think all of the love and positive energy that has been expressed will somehow help them through this very tough time.

    You are so right about how we need every day to appreciate those in our lives.

    My friend, Laura, Alexander's mother, said it best when she wrote:

    "Stop. Look. And listen. Be present to the wonder of your life."

    Love, Terri

  28. Terri,
    Words of kindness, words of love can't make Alexander come back but beauty and Joy shall return someday for them. I cannot imagine the ache in their hearts and the shock of losing a son. I pray that they can be comforted in the months and years to come somehow...

  29. Dear Marilyn,

    I know Alexander's parents would be deeply touched by your comments. They are struggling with it, and will continue to deal with their loss every day for the rest of their lives.

    It's really hard to say what lies ahead. I hope your words come to fruition and that eventually they will find peace, knowing that for 22 years they were blessed with a really magnificent gift.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    Warm regards,


  30. Indeed a great lose to the dear n near ones especially the parents. Though bit belated one,Our deepest condolence to the bereaved family.
    Thanks for presenting the incident in a spl way in your blog,
    Keep inform
    I just joined in
    Best Regards

  31. Dear Philip,

    This was, indeed, such a sad story for our friends and their families. Months later the pain feels fresh to them and I wonder if one can ever fully recover from the loss of a child.

    Thank you for your kindness in expressing your condolences. I'm sure our friends will feel it from afar.

    Best regards, Terri


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i'm a graphic designer who loves words. - terri nakamura