9/2/2014

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Field Notes

Forest Grove children killed: A plea for ignorance

Forest Grove children killed: A plea for ignorance
Abigail Robinson (left) and Anna Dieter-Eckerdt in a photo from Facebook.
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It’s one of those rare stories that make me want to leave the news business because there are some things I just don’t want to know.

I really wish I had never heard the names of Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and her 11-year-old half-sister Abigail Robinson.

I would be fine if no one had told me how the two of them had been playing in a pile of leaves outside their home in Forest Grove on Sunday when a car plowed through the pile.

It wouldn’t bother me if I had not known that the six-year-old died at the scene.

I would be happy if I had not heard on Monday night that the 11-year-old had also died.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wish I had never heard about the six-year-old dying in the arms of a firefighter.

I so wish I had not heard one first responder talk about being at the scene and what they saw.

Could someone have stopped me from hearing police officers talk about responding to the scene and thinking of their own kids, around the same age? I really didn’t need to hear that.

It would be nice if I had not heard that their dad had been outside with them, taking photos on a lovely Fall day, when he decided to just run back inside for a moment.

I wish I had not seen the statement from the parents of the little girls where they talked about how they “were sure to hug and love our girls every chance we could. We just want to encourage you to hug your children. Hug and love your kids as much as you can. Our girls lived a love-drenched life.”

Why did I have to see pictures of the memorial growing at the scene with flowers and stuffed animals and notes from people who had never met the girls but just wanted to make sure the world knows that they will be missed.

I wouldn’t have minded if I had never heard people who knew the children describe how sweet, wonderful, lovely, filled with love, caring, engaging, endearing, beautiful they were.

It would be have been just fine if I had never seen the quote describing one of the girls as “your dream daughter, sweet, nice, talented, cute.”

Why do I have to know that the parent teacher organization at Dilley Elementary – where Anna attended – has rescheduled their Fall carnival out of respect for the family.

And is it really important that I know there is a campaign to get kids to all wear purple and blue on the same day to honor the children?

Did I really need to see the video of some 300 people all gathered in the parking lot of a church, all holding candles and praying and singing and crying?

Why does someone think I should know that the girls’ organs were donated and that other children will live – that out of this horrible event, there will be life?

Would it have been so bad if I had never known that Abby was supposed to be an orphan in an upcoming production of Annie or that she had also been in productions of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Little Mermaid?

I probably could have lived without knowing that grief counselors went to Dilley Elementary where Anna was in First Grade and Tom McCall Upper Elementary where Abby was in the Sixth grade. Who needs to ever hear about children needing grief counselors?

I would be fine having not ever heard that local businesses – including The Sugar Shack – are collecting money for the family for the simple reason they want to do something. They feel like they have to do something.

I wish I had never seen the picture of the two of them hugging because now I can’t get it out of my mind.

I wish I didn’t know their funeral is going to be on Saturday.

I wish I never had to hear about the funeral of a child again.

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