Our world upended last weekend. My 25-year-old nephew Tyler William Reed drowned. I feel like the fabric of our family has ripped apart with my heart torn out.
Tyler went missing after a night out with friends at the Washington Nationals game on May 5. He left a restaurant to take the Metro home to Alexandria, Virginia. No one ever saw him again.
Our family searched frantically for him for the rest of the week. Then on Saturday we received the terrible news. The police had recovered his body from the Anacostia River, near the Nationals’ field and the Navy Yard metro stop. He had suffered no trauma and still had his wallet and cell phone.
Tyler, what happened to you?
We probably will never know for sure how my nephew landed in that river. He was a happy guy with many friends. He worked two jobs that he liked, and he had recently re-enrolled in college to complete his degree in sociology. He had a passion for music, playing both piano and guitar, and he wrote many songs.
I ache for my brother whose only son’s life ended too soon. Like all fathers and sons, they had their little frictions, but they shared so much. They even had the same birthdate. How will my brother celebrate his birthday now when his son can no longer join in the celebration?
I hardly know how to say good-bye to this young man who was on the brink of adulthood. We should be congratulating him on his college graduation, not attending his memorial service. Tyler, I am so sad to see you go.