Ohana Means Family

I’ve had ravens fluttering in my stomach all day long. Even with a pile of work on my plate, I couldn’t suppress the anxious feeling rising in my gut. In the past, I’ve always been quite steady when death presented itself. It’s a part of life, after all. However, up until now, I’ve only witnessed passing’s caused by old age and illness, never by tragedy.

Over the weekend, a box truck barreled into the back of a car carrying a father and his two young children, killing the 4-year-old son, Nicholas, and seriously injuring the father and 2-year-old daughter. The wife is a coworker of mine who was out of the country at the time of the accident and whose life will never, ever be the same. I can’t even fathom finding myself in this scenario. The what-ifs, should have, could have, and would haves are endless; I’d probably be replaying them all in my head to no end.

The truth is this could happen to any of us at any time. You read about these kinds of things but never suspect your life will be impacted by such an insurmountable tragedy. It doesn’t matter how safe of a driver you are or if you’re doing everything right. All it takes is one split second, one mistake on the part of someone else, and your life can unknowingly change.

The one thing I’ve always respected about my company is that despite having well over 50,000 employees, we are a family. Given our large scale, we have the opportunity to work in many facets of the corporation and meet an unbelievably large number of people along the way. I’ve always admired the people I’ve worked with and felt very fortunate to have their support and friendship, even if our paths crossed only for a couple months. Often times it feels as if we are a small start up rather than a cross functional conglomerate. We somehow all know the same people despite working in different departments, offices, and sometimes countries.

Today, I am reminded of the importance of this family. One of us started a GoFundMe account for this family and the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. This is by no means a panacea for losing a son. The combination of day-to-day expenses, hospital bills, and funeral costs will no doubt become burdening. The funds raised will go to support these costs while the family grieves and heals.

With time and surgeries, the father and daughter should both make full recoveries, but a family has lost an integral member, a mother has lost a child, and life has been forever complicated and altered.

Please visit the GoFundMe page for the Carroll Family to show your support and make a donation.

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind…. or forgotten.” – Lilo and Stitch

Click here to read more about last weekend’s tragedy.

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