I just got news that my dissertation adviser's 8-year-old son drowned on a rafting trip last weekend. The family was on vacation and went on an organized boat trip with something like 20 people. My adviser was in the boat with his son and it flipped over in the roaring rapids. Both were wearing life jackets and helmets. The boy was whisked away and they didn't find him for 1.5 hours.
I can't imagine the guilt and grief the family is going through. It makes me feel like throwing up. You think you're going to have fun, and take all precautions, and then this happens.
The funeral is today but I'm not going to go because it's upstate. I am planning on sending a card and contributing to a memorial fund they put together in his son's name.. but I don't know what to even say. It's so sad to lose a grandparent, but at least you can say "they had such a full life." When it's a child, it's incomprehensible.