Vai's View: Death of Andy Reid's son Garrett is a tragic ending

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  • JT4 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    Vai noted, "Pro sports is unforgiving. It doesn't honor birthdays, piano or dance recitals, baptisms, weddings or anniversaries." Danny Ainge famously stepped down from his head coaching job with the Phoenix Suns a few years ago to re-direct his time more toward his family. He noted that he was fortunate to be able to make that choice, where many people are not.

    I know that Andy Reid took some time off when his older boys' problems became public a few years ago, and I suspect he would have made the same decision as Danny Ainge if he thought it would have been the difference needed in his sons' lives. But this is a cautionary tale for all of us in whatever line of work we are in. Any career or pursuit that takes away our focus from our children has to be examined very seriously indeed.

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 8, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    Been there and done that with our eldest child who wasted his youth and young adult years with drug abuse and associated criminal behavior. He's finally turned around - we went to the temple together last week. During those dark years we did everything we could to help him see the need to turn to the light, to no avail until he realized the need himself. Kids can reject the gospel teachings and love of their parents - their agency gives them that right - and when they do the parental pain can be all but overwhelming.

    My wife and I know the heartbreak the Reid's have experienced and are experiencing and we're terribly sorry at the loss of their son.

    At the same time, it's important to remember that the fat lady hasn't sung for Garrett - the power of the atonement extends into the post-mortal world. If he so chooses, Garrett can use it's redemptive power where he is, even as he could have used it here.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Aug. 8, 2012 9:27 a.m.


    You have a great way with words. Your love and empathy are apparent. God bless the Reid family.

  • Jillian West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 8, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    My sympathy and empathy are mirrored in those messages already expressed.
    What pain it is to lose a child - no matter the age - no matter the reason!
    Already been there.
    Thank you Vai for giving us the opportunity to extend comfort and support to the Reid family and an unbelievable number of others just like them. The "great and terrible battle" did not end - it only changed venue. We are all subject to loss and grief. There will be a greater day to come.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Aug. 8, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    I've witnessed the gradual decline of several freinds, as the ways of the world slowly overtook them. Despite attempts to warn them, and prayers, and tears, they choose nevertheless to continue on the path of self-destruction. A few of them have found their way back, thank God, but one - my own brother - ended up dead due to decades of heavy smoking and alchohol abuse. I hope and pray that Garret's siblings may use this tragedy as a means to re-confirm their own faith in God, and commit to higher purposes in life My sympathies and prayers go to Mr. Reid and his family.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 7, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Reid family. This kind of thing happens to the best and worst of us. We truly need each other at times like this. I appreciate the candor of the Reids even though I'm sure it hurts to say it. Hopefully it will help others who have lost their way in life.

  • silveraspen South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 4:02 p.m.

    Thank you, Vai, for your kind discussion of Garrett and the Reid family. My heart breaks for them as they mourn this loss.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 7, 2012 2:28 p.m.

    I was hoping that Vai would have something to say that would help put this into perspective. I was not disappointed.

    I have an acquaintance who works in law enforcement and he has frequently told me that the biggest problems with educating adults in this area about drug addiction is that they are totally convinced it only happens to kids in bad neighborhoods with bad parents. I've always been grateful for his blunt advice and education about warning signs of substance abuse. It helped me save one of my own sons. It really is a disease that requires early detection and treatment. No family is immune.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    Tough article (well done) about a tragic situation. Please let the Reids know of so many here that wish him and his wife well. Our thoughts and prayers go to them. What a tough load to carry. I hope Garrett's challenges are remembered by every man, woman and child who even think momentarily of ingesting any illicit drug. Once you've tasted the poison it is tough to overcome.

  • really? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    I am glad that the Reid family chose to acknowledge their son's battle with addiction rather than to pretend otherwise. Great families struggle everyday with addiction and some battles are won, and many are lost. Addicts are not weak. They are not immoral. They are afflicted with a terrible disease that takes a lifetime of work to overcome. I hope that before anyone judges an addict for their "choices" they will realize that it takes a lot more than better "choices" to beat the disease of addiction. Trust me, I know.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 11:08 a.m.


    Great thoughts. I wish the Reids well during this tragic time.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 7, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Thanks Vai.
    Condolences to the Reid family at this very sad time.

  • roswell Saint George, UT
    Aug. 7, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    Condolences to Andy and Tammy Reid. No doubt they have done their best, yet children must and do make their own choices. Nut he is theirs and will be...the end is not yet. Keep the faith, brother.