Ballard teens grieve online

Apr 7, 2010, 2:47 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Ballard Memorial 004Easter candy wrapped in metallic foil, a stuffed bunny, handwritten song lyrics, a Ballard vs. Roosevelt homecoming shirt, glass votive candles and dozens of bouquets of flowers are piled at the location where three young men died in a car accident early Sunday.

Tonight at 7:30, friends will meet at the crash site (corner of NW Market Street and NW 54th Street) to remember Spenser Millard, Kellen Jones and Mike Turner. All three graduated from Ballard High School with the class of 2008. A fourth passenger, a teenage girl, was severely injured.

Almost every news story involving the loss of young people ends with a reference that “grief counselors will be on hand at the school to talk with students.” I think that’s a line that makes adults feel better, as if to say, everything will be okay. But few teens meet with the counselors. The reality is, many prefer stating their feelings in a very public way – online.

A few hours after Sunday’s fatal crash, friends set up a Facebook page: R.I.P to 3 Young Men from the Class of 2008. It has more than 1,800 members. Of the hundreds of posts, most comments are supportive; remembering good times students shared with the three guys.

Ballard MemorialKellen was always a great teammate to be around during Track & Field. The long road trips passed so quickly because he could spread his joy to the whole team. What a spirit he had. Everyone had a good time with Bobo. My thoughts are with the 3 families. Life was too short for such wonderful people.

Even people who weren’t friends with the three young men, felt a need to reach out.

Ballard Memorial 005I didn’t know any of the guys who have passed away today or the female injured but my prayers and heart is with the friends and families of the victims. i know its hard losing someone you love in a tragic accident, in any kind at that. i wish there were words to help you guys feel better. its truly devastating. again, …i’m sooo sorry for your guys loss

Some comments are critical, hinting at stories that have come out reporting that one of the boys had been stopped before on suspicion of driving drunk.

who cares! if they didnt take drugs and drink they would be alive, its THERE FAULT not taco time or the pole, its THERES for making bad decisions. My heart goes out to the familys of these teenagers.

Teens are working through the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – together online.

things like this make you re-assess your own life and your own actions — i know i am. rest in paradise boys

Ballard Memorial 007

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Ballard teens grieve online