Brutally Honest: Millikin is a family


Denny Patterson, Senior Editor

How do you deal with death? It’s a sensitive subject that is feared by most, but occasionally embraced. Some might feel the need to be surrounded by friends while they grieve while others isolate themselves from any form of human contact. Let’s be real – death is not easy to handle.

When I received the news about Amanda Puckett’s passing, I sort of had a deja vu moment because the one year anniversary of Dr. Larry Troy’s passing is coming up. For those of you who didn’t know Dr. Troy, he was a beloved sociology professor who collapsed outside his classroom in Shilling. Students and faculty rushed to his aid, performing CPR to revive him. Unfortunately he was pronounced dead upon arriving to Decatur Memorial Hospital. A candlelight vigil was held in his honor and a formal memorial service was held later on. Administration, staff and numerous students – many who never had a class with him – attended the services.

I feel like those moments are being relived. This is the second year in a row a member of the Millikin community passed away at the beginning of the first semester. Although I didn’t know Amanda personally, I feel that empty space. There is a hole within the Milli-bubble. I was told that she was a sincere, talented, beautiful individual who would do anything for a friend. I doubt none of that.

It seems so unfair that she never had the chance to fulfill her dreams. Life was just beginning for her. And I know many students and faculty are thinking the exact same thing: “Why her?”

That question cannot be answered, but I do have an answer to this one: “Will you have a support system here at Millikin?”

Of course you will. Words cannot describe how touched I was to see so many people fill up LRTUC to pay their respects for Amanda. It showed me that the Millikin community will be there for each other during dark times. Those who knew Amanda were engulfed by love and support from others – to the point where it can be considered overwhelming. But, the tears will dry and a smile will come forth. The entire campus was there for each when Dr. Troy passed, it is no doubt the same will happen for Amanda when her formal memorial is held.

As stated before, Millikin will go through the dark times together. We might be peers and friends to each other, but we are also a family.

We might not be blood related, but we are a family – whether you like it or not.