When you get inside the room you will know who the mother is. Yes, I’m very sure.
I will show you: If it were my mother you would say, “Mrs. Rosenberg. I have terrible, terrible news. Naomi died today.” You say it out loud until you can say it clearly and loudly. How loudly? Loudly enough. If it takes you fewer than five tries you are rushing it and you will not do it right. You take your time.
After the bathroom you do nothing before you go to her. You don’t make a phone call, you do not talk to the medical student, you do not put in an order. You never make her wait. She is his mother.
When you get inside the room you will know who the mother is. Yes, I’m very sure. Shake her hand and tell her who you are. If there is time you shake everyone’s hand. Yes, you will know if there is time. You never stand. If there are no seats left, the couches have arms on them.
You will have to make a decision about whether you will ask what she already knows. If you were the one to call her and tell her that her son had been shot then you have already done part of it, but you have not done it yet. You are about to do it now. You never make her wait. She is his mother. Now you explode the world. Yes, you have to. You say something like: “Mrs. Booker. I have terrible, terrible news. Ernest died today.”
MONICA DAVEY, THE NEW YORK TIMES, SEPT 1
The daily counts of the dead and wounded have grown dizzying. Among this summer’s victims were a 6-year-old girl who was wounded near her house; a 10-year-old whose twin held his hand as he waited for help; and Nykea Aldridge, a young mother and the cousin of the N.B.A. star Dwyane Wade, who was killed while pushing a baby stroller.
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