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Reggie White

Posted by john h on 12/26/04 at 15:02 (166161)

Dr. Z: This may seem inappropriate in that nearly 10.000 people have been killed in Indonesia and nearby areas but one of your all time greats Reggie White died from a massive heart attack at the age of 43. He was a great player and from all I could see was a fine human being. Strange how you can be effected by someone dieing you seem to know but it is hard to wrap your brain around the loss of nearly 10,000 faceless people. I could go to a crash site and see a couple of fellow pilots who had died and am profoundly effected forever but I can read about 36000 Americans dying each year in auto accidents and it is just a number.Our brain has the capacity to compartmentalize the good the bad and the ugly.

Re: Reggie White

vince on 12/26/04 at 21:01 (166171)

Steroids will almost always shorten your life.

Re: Tragedies

Julie on 12/27/04 at 08:37 (166180)

John

Yes, the singular death is always more affecting, especially when you have some personal connection with the person. Or the area in which a disaster has taken place. I've been very sad this morning, hearing the news of the tsunami, because the coastal area south of Madras is an area of Tamil Nadu, India, that I know quite well, having travelled there several times. I know people who are there (and in Sri Lanka) right now, and I know people who live there, and I've visited many of the Hindu temples along the coast. The Shore Temple, in Mamallapuram, a magnificent 1300-year-old temple very near the seashore is fragile and already very eroded by the sea - I do not know whether it is still standing.

Maybe the answer to our frozen 'just a number' response to mammoth disaster statistics is to try consciously to narrow it down to just one person, one family, one destroyed home, one tragedy, and thereby personalise it, make it more real. We must exercise our compassion muscles and not grow impervious to the terrible, terrible things that happen in the world on a daily basis.

And not just natural disasters. Genocide in Darfur. Uncounted thousands of dead Iraqis.

And so on.

Re: Tragedies

Kathy G on 12/27/04 at 10:12 (166184)

When I heard of this terrible tragedy, I thought of you because I knew that you had visited the area, Julie. How very awful this is and I hadn't even given a thought to the ancient buildings that may be gone.

The whole concept of tsunamis is hard to grasp. I read an article this morning that personalized it a bit more. It was written by a writer for the Washington Post, who was swimming with his brother who owned an island in the area, when it happened. To hear a first hand account humanized it a bit. He and his family survived but he did a good job of describing what it was like.

Re: Reggie White

Kathy G on 12/27/04 at 10:19 (166186)

John,

As a longtime football fan, I, too, was saddened and surprised to hear of Reggie White's death. He was an amazing athlete and a bit of a paradox. I seldom think of a defensive player of his caliber as being a gentle person but he was. He used his great faith and the fact that he was an ordained minister to help both fellow players and total strangers. From what I've read so far, he was a true Christian.

It's sad to think that untreated sleep apnea may have caused his death but they won't know for sure until the autopsy results are in.

Re: Reggie White

Dr. Z on 12/27/04 at 12:32 (166203)

John,
As soon as I heard about Reggie his face popped into my mind's eye. Our mind is so complicated and at the same time knows how to protect us.

Re: Reggie White

Dr. Z on 12/27/04 at 12:33 (166204)

I never heard that Reggie took Seriods. Do you know this for a fact?

Re: Reggie White

vince on 12/27/04 at 13:37 (166205)

I never meant to cast suspicion on Mr White re: use of steroids. I simply said that steroid use can cause premature death via heart attack. Given the ramapant use of illegal substances by professional and amature athletes some will look at a death like Mr White's with a ?.

Re: Reggie White

Kathy G on 12/27/04 at 14:26 (166209)

You're right, Vince. I had the same thought, in that we have lost several athletes to the use of steroids. I haven't read where that was an issue with Reggie White yet and I don't believe it was one that ever came up during his career.

Re: Reggie White

BLT on 12/27/04 at 15:58 (166218)

Roid use was rampant for many then and still now. It is very uncommon for a man in that shape to die of that at that age.

Re: Reggie White

Susan on 12/27/04 at 21:27 (166233)

Since Reggie White lived in the Charlotte, NC area, the website charlotte.com has several articles concerning him and his death. He had sarcoidosis, which they are saying might have contributed to his death.

Re: Reggie White

john h on 12/27/04 at 21:51 (166234)

Many have said he was the greatest defensive player of all time. Others say LT was. I was never an Eagle or Green Bay fan but Reggie always got my attention. Steriods can make you strong but they cannot give you the drive that puts you over the top in football. At 6'5' and around 300 lbs he did not have a lot of body fat. He did not need any steriods and just had the attitude that separated him from the other big guys.

Yestereday in Little Rock one of the worlds renowned Pediatric Heart Surgeons committed suicide at the age of 43. He had just last week implanted the first ever of a new type of mechanical heart in a young boy. He came here from the Cleveland Clinic and was Chief of Pediatric Heart Surgery at the Arkansas Childrens Hospital. I think it was last year he was featured on a two hour series 'ER' on ABC. He had averaged over 600 heart surgeries a year for the past 4 years. Born in South Africa. Leaves a wife with no children and a note that has not been released. Everyone left in total shock according to his friends and hospital personnel. Took an overdose of some sort of pain medications and had locked himself in his living room. You never really know what goes on behind ones face.

Re: Tragedies

Suzanne D. on 12/27/04 at 22:35 (166235)

I am rendered speechless with the magnitude of the loss in this tragedy. Reading about all the children who died, their parents searching through morgues to locate them, makes me incredibly sad.

And, yes, Julie...as much as it hurts to even think about these losses, we must never grow complacent or unfeeling about such tragedies. I thought of you when I first heard the news as I knew you had traveled in some of the areas affected by the disaster.

Suzanne

Re: Reggie White

Kathy G on 12/28/04 at 10:00 (166242)

Susan, I'll have to check that website. I don't even know what sarcoidosis is but I'll do some research.

John, I read about that surgeon in the Boston Globe. The article implies that he took any failure at all, much too personally. What a shame that such a great talent was so tormented.

Re: Reggie White

john h on 12/28/04 at 11:59 (166243)

Kathy: In his type of medicine he lost 70% of children because there were no organs available. That had to take a toll on anyone.

Re: Tragedies

Julie on 12/28/04 at 14:09 (166244)

The death toll has now reached 60,000 and is sure to go higher. There were pictures in the Guardian today of people grieving on the beach at Cuddalore, south of where I've stayed at Mamallapuram. There is one long continuous beach stretching for at least a hundred miles, from Madras onwards, with little fishing villages strung out along its entire length. I have walked along it many times and seen the fishermen going out in their boats, and seen them bobbing up and down on the horizon, and coming back with their catch. The boats are beautiful, long and slim, curved and graceful, hollowed out of logs. Of course they - and the fishermen in them - are utterly vulnerable. I keep picturing them being tossed around by those enormous waves, and capsizing and going under. So many people dead, and those who have survived have lost everything. Their homes are mostly just huts, and would have been swept away. An article in the paper this morning commented that many of the fishermen earn quite a lot, but that they keep their money in their homes or buy CD players and mobile phones - and all are gone. It's heartbreaking.
.

Re: Tragedies

Suzanne D. on 12/28/04 at 21:54 (166263)

It truly must be heartbreaking for you to see these reports, Julie, as the tragedy is so personal to you with your travels and knowledge of the areas.

I was asked to play the piano today at the funeral of a man I did not know. I do know his wife, casually, and of course I agreed to play the hymns she had chosen. I then had a little struggle in my mind last night, thinking about the things I had thought about doing instead today. My thoughts were stopped cold as I realized how I had been mourning the loss of thousands in the tragedy of the typhoon and earthquake and had felt helpless to do anything for them. And now I had a chance to help this lady and was not completely happy about doing so. I had a quick change of attitude at that moment and decided that my small, insignificant act of playing the piano for the funeral today would be (in my heart) for everyone who had lost loved ones. And then right before I began to play this afternoon, I realized what day it is - December 28 - and knew that my mother's funeral was 16 years ago today. She played for many funerals through the years, and I think she would have been pleased.

Sometimes it is nice to be able to write about things here that I might hesitate to actually say to anyone. Thanks for letting me do so.

Suzanne

Re: Reggie White

wendyn on 12/29/04 at 00:19 (166265)

Kathy, Sarcoidosis is one of the things my Rheum. thought I had this summer. I believe it's an inflammatory condition that can affect various parts of the body including the lungs.

I read that he had sleep apnea. A good friend of mine lost his best friend to that a few years ago. He went out, had a few beers, and never woke up.

People associate it with snoring, but many people don't realize that it can actually kill a person.

Re: Tragedies

wendyn on 12/29/04 at 00:21 (166266)

This whole tragedy is so sad. It must be especially hard for you Julie, to me it isn't as 'real' since it's far away places that I've never been. The death toll is really inconceivable. :(

Re: Tragedies

Julie on 12/29/04 at 11:53 (166270)

Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, it is unspeakably sad. But I wasn't hoping for personal sympathy, just wanting to share my memories of that place which has now been so devastated, and I suppose I also wanted to make the point that once there is a personal connection, the tragedy becomes more real - not a number, but THAT place, THOSE people. Not more comprehendable - this one gets less and less so as the death toll rises and the pictures of the devastation multiply - but more real.

It is wonderful that you decided to offer your music to all who are grieving for loved ones - and how significant the day is! Thank you for sharing that experience, that feeling.
.

Re: Tragedies

Julie on 12/29/04 at 11:55 (166271)

Thanks, Wendy. As I've just said to Suzanne, I wasn't looking for personal sympathy, and I can't say it is especially hard for me - just more real. It's so difficult to feel the reality of people and places so far away. I suppose I was hoping that in describing that particular place and those boats and people, I might make it a little more real for you guys.
.

Re: Tragedies

wendyn on 12/29/04 at 14:45 (166275)

It did Julie, very much.