No matter how well written the news story, most of us know nothing more than what’s provided us on the page. Our emotional connection is limited to our ability to empathize with people we don’t know, and based on the limited picture of their life presented to us in that one cluster of paragraphs. For most of us the Post story on the tragic death of Marisol Caceres is no different.
Jeff gives us a window into their lives before this tragedy, both with his fresh recollections of his friendship with Marisol’s brother Jose and his two-year old interview with him about his immigration reform activities. It’s a valuable reminder that the people on the page had lives before they got six inches of newsprint devoted to their current tragedy. It’s also a reminder that their burdens won’t lessen just because they disappear from our notice because something bad happened to someone else the following day.
It’s not an enjoyable feeling, this reminder, but I think it’s a valuable and human one.