DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - A young Decatur woman is embarking on a mission that has her looking for people who are willing to share their thoughts, their feelings, and their memories. 18-year old Caitlin Beard is producing a video for other teenagers. The idea is to discuss the pain and sense of loss when a friend or loved one dies suddenly. It's a feeling she is quite familiar with.
Caitlin's video is a project for her Girl Scout troup, but to her it's much more important. She believes, she hopes it might actually help save a life. Caitlin is looking for other young people who, like her, have suffered the loss of a friend or loved one in an accident... people who are willing to share their thoughts and memories.
"It's like carrying a brick around in your pocket," Caitlin tells WHNT News 19. She went on, "Sometimes you might forget about it for a minute, but then you kinda look around and you remember. Like I always remember how I'll never have a sister and how I was cheated out of these opportunities where she should have been at my prom or at my graduation and should have been watching my back. And because of her death, I go through things a normal teenager wouldn't have to. Like my parents worry about me more than other parents, how they're worried when I leave the house in my car, if I'll ever come back."
Caitlin's older sister died years ago when the car she was in was struck by a train. Knowing that teens often relate to other teens better than with adults, Caitlin decided her final Girl Scout project would be to produce a video of teens, for teens.
"It's regular people that these things happen to, and that text message, it isn't worth it. And, this is just what i hope, that people realize, is that your life isn't worth being distracted when you're in the car, that the only thing you need to focus on when you're in the car is driving."
The death of Caitlin's sister at a remote railroad crossing so many years ago wasn't necessarily the result of distracted driving, but the fact that it happened has affected her and her family since that very day. That's why she's doing this project, she wants to prevent other families from having to endure the pain and loss that her family has had to learn to live with.
Caitlin says sharing your thoughts or feelings for a project such as this may help keep the memory of your friend or loved one alive, and may help prevent a similar tragedy. If you want to reach Caitlin, follow this link to her Facebook page.