On Loss and Living

Scott, our son and brother, died at age 31, on March 23, 2020. The pandemic had just begun and we were all facing an unknown future. But our future has forever been altered—unrelated to Covid 19.

What has changed over the past two and a half years?  Despite seeing our tears at church, we do not cry as frequently. We are able to appreciate time with family and friends. We treasure our small immediate family more than ever.

The Hood family hiking in North Carolina.

 What hasn’t changed? I can say for all three of us that we think of Scott multiple times in a day (and night) and miss him more deeply than we can express.  There should be four of us, but there are only three. Scott was a man of compassion—his many “best” friends can attest to this. Scott always looked out for those in need and had high respect for their dignity. Scott was intelligent and intuitive. His sensitivity toward and respect for humanity and ecology was deep. Scott made everyone laugh. Scott had lots of fun in life, and we had fun with Scott. Scott knew lots about a lot. He graduated from Kelley School of Business but was better known for his knowledge of music and all things wise. So many things remind us of Scotty. Memories bring longing to be with him, and sometimes laughter. 

Scott, Gloria, Mike, and Amy at Paso Robles when Scott lived in California.
Scott, Gloria, Mike, and Amy at Paso Robles when Scott lived in California.

Sometimes people want to know what they can talk about with someone who has a loss. We can only speak for our situation. Each of us fears saying something unintentionally not helpful for persons in grief. It’s okay to get past that and just let people know you care. We feel cared for at FMC.  We also don’t expect people to understand or make it better. We prefer that people just understand it won’t be better— or maybe it will—but not yet. We have not found a “purpose” or “meaning” for Scott’s death. Our faith has been both strengthened and challenged. We struggle with the idea of the faithful being “blessed.” However, many are faithful and suffer worse than we have suffered.  It’s hard to pray for the protection and well-being of our loved ones. We believe in prayer, but aren’t sure about outcomes. We are learning to embrace mystery and God’s wideness. We do not want people to feel sorry for us. We know that everyone fears losing a loved one too soon, and many have experienced the same.

 Scott was confident, independent and would not have wanted to be judged.  He embraced the values of peace, justice and love. We wonder what he would want us to say about his struggle. Since we don’t know, we simply try to learn from our life with Scott and honor his life with love. 

At Cincinnati Reds stadium where a brick for Scotty is placed.
At Cincinnati Reds stadium where a brick for Scotty is placed.

Thanks for caring and wondering. It’s okay to ask—and if we don’t know how to answer, we will say that. We will all leave this life at some point. Together, we can get better at bridging this world and the next. Let’s say the important things now. Tomorrow is not promised.

This is a Carrie Newcomer song that has been meaningful to us: Carrie Newcomer, All Saints Day

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About the author

Gloria, Mike, and Amy Hood

Mike is a Field Account Representative for HD Supply. He loves to play golf in his spare time. The golf course is a place of solace. As a heart transplant recipient, Mike promotes Indiana Donor Network as Scotty was also a donor. Mike also enjoys a good game of cribbage with Amy and kayaking with his wife.

Gloria is a private practice mental health therapist, hoping to lessen life’s suffering for others. Gloria has coped by walking and talking with friends, allowing tears, daily phone calls with her sister, and moving from the family home to a lakeside condo. She enjoys kayaking, paddleboarding, floating, and biking.

Amy is a Special Education teacher at Invent Learning Hub with a passion for persons with disabilities. She is in the final year of her Master’s Degree in Education through Marian University, so stays very busy. She lives in Sobro with her two beautiful dogs. Amy loves snuggling the pups and pursuing her career to help others.

All of us have dabbled in therapy and pray a lot. The love of God, our church family, family and friends has sustained us.

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