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Death At A Young Age

Twenty-five years ago a college student lost five of her closest friends in a freak accident. We’ll look at what it means to lose someone when you’re young.

Police officials and others examine the wreckage of three-vehicle accident four miles west of Oxford, Mississippi on Thursday, March 26, 1987, that killed five University of Mississippi students who were participating in a sorority walk-a-thon. Several others were injured in the accident. (AP)

Police officials and others examine the wreckage of three-vehicle accident four miles west of Oxford, Mississippi on Thursday, March 26, 1987, that killed five University of Mississippi students who were participating in a sorority walk-a-thon. Several others were injured in the accident. (AP)

To everything there is a season, says the Bible.  A time for everything. But we know things happen out of season.  Even death.  When Paige Williams was 20, five of her college friends died on one terrible day in one terrible accident.

Five beautiful girls, full of life and hope, gone all at once.  Way out of season.  For them.  For her. Now, twenty-five years later, she’s looking back on that loss.  On how as a young person she dealt with the loss of peers.  Soldiers do it.  Sorority sisters do it.

This hour, On Point:  the life cycle of grief, and what it means to lose a peer when you are young.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Paige Williams, teaches narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Her essay in the May issue of O Magazine was, “We Thought the Sun Would Always Shine on Our Lives.”

Vanessa Jackson, clinical social worker, Healing Circles, Inc.

From Tom’s Reading List

O Magazine “The idea of sororities holds stronger in the Deep South than in the rest of the country, and at my alma mater, Ole Miss, in Oxford, Mississippi, the Greek letters on T-shirts foretold a person’s station in life. I belonged to XΩ, Chi Omega.”

Video: Chi Omega News Report

This news report aired on March 26, 1987 on WMC-Channel 5 in Memphis about the tragedy at nearby Ole Miss.

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The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

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