Friday, July 11, 2008


Last night I went to a viewing of 3 people who were killed last Sunday in a really bad auto accident. It was something I haven't done in a long time (go to a viewing) and hopefully I won't ever do it again in that way (3 people all at the same time). I didn't directly know the people who had died, but let me explain the connection. Barbara and Roger Keep are some of my parents best friends and I've known them my whole life (they live in San Luis). Their oldest son, Mark, was married to a woman named Chris a few years back and they had 2 children together (Mark and Alissa), I believe. Chris had a son from a previous marriage - Tyler. Chris had been re-married to a man named Darren. So Alissa (age 7), Tyler (age 15) and Darren were all killed in the accident last Sunday, leaving just Chris and Mark behind. Horrible, horrible situation.
The whole Keep family was there and I've known them all so long, I have a great love for all of them - they're almost like my own family. It was sad knowing how sad they are.
Alissa and Tyler had open caskets. Alissa was dressed in a really pretty dress and her hair was all curled. Leslie said that unfortunately with all of the make up on her you couldn't see her cute freckles, which was true - I would have never known that she had them. She was holding a horse in one hand and inside the door of the casket it said "our little princess." The funny thing, though, was that she just didn't seem real. It didn't seem like a little girl once inhabited that body. It seemed more like a wax statue or something.
I didn't speak to Chris (I don't know her at all), but my heart hurt for her. How was she doing it? How was she standing there, smiling, and talking to everyone? She just lost 2 of her children and her husband. She had a sling on her arm and is still recovering physically from the accident herself. How could someone handle such devastation?
And poor little Mark. The Keep kids were so worried about him, saying that he has NO idea how to handle all of the this, which is understandable - he's probably around 9 or 10 years old. He was also in the accident and saw all of it happen.
This was an interesting and very sad experience that I wanted to share. It's been sad and touching to watch this situation from the outside - I can't even imagine, nor would I ever want to, what it must feel like on the inside.


The White House said...

I am in Oregon visiting family, but I heard about the accident from Paul who is at home. My heart just aches for the entire Keep family and especially for Chris and little Mark- I cannot even imagine what they are going through right now. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with them all. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Jess and Jen said...

I have heard about this story on the news. I actually saw their obituaries in the paper and thought about how sad of a situation it is.

Mike and Adrianne said...

I'm so sorry Amy. I agree that viewings are sad and weird because the bodies look so lifeless. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

Michelle said...

When I was in the airport in Iowa on Thursday night getting ready to depart for Idaho I ran into a man I know that is married to Jessica Sorenson. Jessica is the half sister of Alissa. Her husband told me all about this accident and how hard Jessica is taking it. I hope the family can find comfort in this difficult time and everyone else that knows them as well.

Team Clark said...

Oh, I forgot that Jessica lived by you guys. I saw her there, but I don't think I spoke to her much - I spoke more to her mom.
It's all just really sad.

Michelle said...

Jessica Sorensen is actually a consultant of mine. She works across the hall from Jason in the science building. Small world isn't it?

joeandcarole said...

Thank you Amy for going and sharing the love and comfort from all of our family with our dear friends. It is such an unbelievable harsh event to just force itself into a family's life. We can be sustained knowing that they are with Heavenly Father and our families will all be together again, but there is an unimaginable vacant spot where they were so drastically and suddenly removed from our presence. It brings to our minds and hearts just how fragile and delicate life is and what a blessing and joy these little ones are as they have been placed in our care.
I love you and your family dearly,

Sandy said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about that yet. I know that Mark (the older) has been through a lot with his family - and I'm sure there is more to come after this. I'm glad you got to go.

chelsey said...

I agree that even knowing what we know about life after death, funerals are a terrible thing to go through. I've had my fair share of terrible funerals to go to, so I understand that awkward feeling of emptiness. It's amazing how the absence of the spirit in the body feels so prevelant huh!