How do you approach the family who just lost a loved one?
We do it all the time in this business.
I’ve done it many times, but this particular time, for some reason, was especially hard.
Nineteen-year-old David Groff of Clifton Springs just died Wednesday morning.
His car ran off the road, hit a utility pole, a tree, and burst into flames.
Groff was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nine hours later, I was in David Groff’s family driveway, ready to knock on the door.
I was terrified.
I took deep breaths as I stepped out the car.
I was worried about how the family would react.
What if they yell and scream?
What if they make threats?
You never know walking into this kind of situation how a grieving family is going to react, but I knew I had a job to do.
A car then pulled into the driveway – it was David’s sister and father.
I trembled, my voice quivering as I asked if they were related to David.
They said yes, and were cordial, allowing me to finish my sentences and ask questions.
They didn’t want to talk on camera, and that’s understood.
The family was kind to send their favorite photo and a statement.
All I could do was tell a story about a young life the best way I could, with kind words from loved ones and memories.
My heart goes out to the families with lost loved ones.
My only hope is the stories we tell can provide some comfort.
The toughest thing by far we have to do.
Alexis Arnold, Reporter