To the parents of Gabe Zimmerman

Tyler HurstBlog4 Comments

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman-

My deepest condolences for the loss of your son. I trust that he will be remembered fondly.

I did not know Gabe. From what I gather, he was a tireless public servant who worked hard to make others’ lives easier and better. I imagine you are very proud that he worked for a Congresswoman and though a small piece of you wished he’d get a higher paying job in the private sector, I bet you’re grateful that he made a living doing what he loved.

Gabe strikes me as a connector, a teacher and a helper. He planned events. I bet he dreamed of one day standing on his own podium, ready to help, ready to serve and ready to use his skills to better everyone around him.

I feel in some way responsible for the environment that lead to his death. You see, I’m privately a hard worker who likes to help people solve problems by connecting them to others. I plan events. I write. I help others get stuff done.

But publicly…publicly I interrogate. I push buttons, I incite anger and I use my talents to piss people off in hopes that they’ll get better on their own. While I’m no hate monger, I am contributing to a senseless cold war against what makes us human. My ray of light is dim at best, often overrun by angry comments, criticism toward others and a general negativity about the world that does little good.

I’m tired of being a participant in a nation where we have become so desensitized to insults, racial slurs and violence metaphors that they pass for entertainment on the nightly newscast. I’m sorry I didn’t speak up earlier, but I will now. This stuff bothers me.

Your son was 30 years old and in the prime of his life. He was using his talent and gifts to make the world a slightly better place. I’m 31 years old and I use my talent and gifts to publicly break people down and privately build them back up. I need to and can do more.

While your son’s life has ended before his time, I promise you that it was not lived in vain. I, and the people around me, can do better. I pledge to make my light burn a little brighter.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman, for raising a kid as selfless as Gabe. I hope I can live up to the legacy he never got a chance to finish.

Tyler HurstTo the parents of Gabe Zimmerman

4 Comments on “To the parents of Gabe Zimmerman”

  1. Jo (Mediamum)

    From the heart. Thank you for writing it, not just thinking it. And thank you for sharing it because it challenges everyone to consider these same things 🙂

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