A Mom Speaks Out on Dealing With Community's Loss

Blogger says community came together during this crisis.

Editor's Note: This blog post was written by Nicole Dash, a mother of four living in Annandale. Check out her blog, Tiny Steps Mommy.

The children are in music class and I thought about quickly publishing a “Mom Who Gives Back” article or perhaps answering a couple of questions for my Mom-to-Mom advice column. Instead, I find myself thinking about the 17-year-old boy Bryan Glenn from my neighborhood high school who was found dead in the woods yesterday exactly a week after going missing. The details are still coming in, but regardless of the WHY or HOW it is a tragic loss.

You can’t go two feet in my neighborhood without seeing missing person posters for the young man who suddenly disappeared. His car was left abandoned in the parking lot of a nearby park and investigators had decided he was another runaway. Police did a search of the woods, but never found him. The community and the Glenn family never gave up though. They knew he did not runaway.

After several vigils and an incredible amount of work getting the word out in the community and online, the Glenn family and friends decided to conduct their own search of the woods near where his car was found. And heartbreakingly they found him. His body was located about ¾ of a mile beyond the tree line.

I wish this story had ended better. My heart hurts for this boy’s parents. My own son is only four years younger than Bryan. He will attend the same high school and play on the same football team. He will probably share many of the same teachers. This is a tragedy with many questions, which perhaps will be answered, but perhaps not.

No one may truly understand the events that led to his death. The one lesson I do carry with me is about the perseverance and strength of this community and of his family. They did not just accept what authorities were telling them. They knew something had happened and pushed beyond the statistics about troubled teens and runaways. They kept looking, as I would have kept looking.

A parent never gives up. Never.

I send my prayers and thoughts to the Glenn family. I do not know them personally, but I do know they are grieving in ways unimaginable.

Please feel free to join the discussion on the Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook page.

To read more about the ongoing story, please read The Fairfax Patch.

Related Stories: 

Woodson Senior Missing Since Monday
Thaiss Park Closed While Police Search for Bryan Glenn
Friends of Missing Teen Say 'Bryan Did Not Just Walk Away'
Family Fights to Bring Missing Son Home 

Help Bryan's Family Search Thaiss Park
UPDATE: Missing Teen Found Dead in Thaiss Park
VIDEO: Police Answer Questions About Body Found at Thaiss Park 

Whitney Rhodes October 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM
You have a good point about the headline. I tweaked it a bit.
Elsa October 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Eh, Roy - this is for the Tiny Steps Mommy blog, & others who may find comfort in shared feelings, not for the Raging Cold Hateful Mean Man blog.
Patricia Whiteoak October 11, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I am so saddened for the family and any family that would have to go through this. When I was a child I remember being allowed to go to the playground all day and no one worried. I hope there will be answers coming....Patty
Roy October 11, 2012 at 07:30 PM
So I originally posted because I was searching for answers and this poorly titled blog was at the top of the search above all the relevant details, on top of which the message of the blog was kind of offensive, in other words would go to the funeral and say this out loud. Again the only reason it was offensive was because it was at the top of a search list of a very recent tragic event. First, cold would imply I lack emotion which is a stupid assumption seeing as emotion is driving my comments in the first place. Second my comment was also relevant to the mommy blog. Since the author wanted to present what they thought was a thought provoking concept I too wanted to share what I thought to be an even more thought provoking concept. Though it seems some did not make the connection in my story. True, I did word it from a more personal perspective but I also tried wording it broad enough so the reader could see the kid as their own instead of as a friend. I felt that that was a more meaningful message as I look upon the vacant stare of some mothers faces while their child runs off without their interest in where to. Note: I am not referring to the Glenn's mother as one of these mothers and that should further convey the universality and seriousness of my point.
Michele October 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM
This blog was nothing more than one mother living in the community expressing her condolences and demonstrating how this tragedy impacted her community. Not meant to make some broader point. She did not write the original title nor did she have control over the placement in the search engine. She didn't even ask for it to be run in the paper. The paper asked her to run it one she had written it for her blog. Being emotional is fine and understandable, but anger is not helpful. I'm sorry for your loss Roy. This is a tragedy on all counts.


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