No matter the circumstance — criminal trial, cancer fundraiser or time at a homeless shelter — a good reporter won’t get too wrapped up in emotions.
In my opinion, a bit of rigidness helps you maintain the focus you need in piecing information together and being able to effectively communicate it once you’re in front of that keyboard and monitor. If something touches your heart, it’s best to let those feelings out later. Use your ‘human side’ to reflect on it after your job is done.
That’s what I had to do once I left the West Woods in Russell Township on Saturday. I wrote this story
about the Walk Through the Woods event, held there in honor of Paul Corrigan and family. He, his wife, Kelly, and young sons, Braden and Logan, were killed in a three-vehicle traffic accident in 2006.
Ever since, Paul’s sister, Erin Corrigan Martin has joined friends and family members to host the event in an attempt to remember the family in a fun way that embodies what they were about. By all accounts, the foursome, whose dog also died in the accident, loved nature, exploring it and walking through it.
Attending this event made me think about loved ones that I’ve lost, and why I haven’t done anything as remotely creative for them. Taking something they enjoyed doing, and inviting everybody that loved them to share in it. It seems so simple, but a lot of us don’t put forward that time or effort to make it happen.
In addition to remembering them, this kind of event helps people do more than just shed tears over the departed. It’s not putting up a front, it’s simply acknowledging that there’s more at play than just a death. There’s also a legacy. And remembering it can be fun.
For the Corrigan boys, it was the exploration of the wilderness. To recognize that, the event featured a naturalist from the Geauga Park District, who helped youngsters find frogs, bugs and other creatures lurking in the pond. That’s a direct connection to what the Corrigan children might have been doing on a Saturday afternoon if they were still here.
My prayers are definitely with that family. But it was difficult to hold off that type of thinking until after I left. But I managed to do it.
I also believe I received inspiration to better honor those who left this planet too soon. I can’t say I would have been afforded that opportunity as an accountant or insurance claims adjuster. I’m just saying...
-- Brandon C. Baker
Labels: Corrigan family, Erin Corrigan Martin, Geauga Park District, West Woods