Where does a week go? Issac Winder’s Story

Man, I had good intentions of getting out three posts last week, but apparently my life had a different plan. And isn’t that how it will always go? Our life, set out on it’s divine course will always have it’s own agenda only slightly altered by our choices.  Today I need to do my part in sharing a story about a young man whose plan was probably a little different too.

Not to let the title deceive you, I don’t presume to know Issac Winder’s full story. I am sure his life was full of many amazing things, hidden secrets, deep loves, and untold adventures. All I can share with you is the small parts I have read online, and sadly this is only the story of his death and a plea to help his family.

I had a friend from high school, his name is Issac. Issac lived on a farm in a cemetery. Issac and his best friend, and cousin, Clay loved practical jokes. After a creepy evening walk through the cemetery we went back to Issac’s house where they proceed to scare the living daylight out of my friend by using a gorilla mask, cruel but hilarious. He and Clay also planned the most epic scare I had ever seen as a Birthday surprise, for the same friend. Issac and I were not close friends but I knew that this kid loved adventure. As it often goes with high school acquaintances, you don’t do much talking when high school is over.


Issac, Candalyn and Adair photo taken from

Apparently Issac went on to get married to a beautiful woman, and have an adorable daughter. This small family went to China on a grand adventure to teach English. Two weeks ago Issac contracted food poising, this and possibly some other complications led to his body shutting down. While the U. S. healthcare may not always be the best, it sure seems better than China, where his family had to pay for treatment everyday before it would be administered. A daily bill in the ICU was $1,700, I believe he spent over a week there, and on top of that the payment for dialysis was $10,000 every day for at least two days, in advanced. Issac passed away Sunday morning. Can you imagine how monuments that must be for this new widow who was teaching English in China for minimal wages to fathom paying for, (loans were accrued)? I know we all have financial trials but please if you are able please visit this blog of Issac’s sister, read his story and donate whatever you can. People have been generous already but I am sure they could still use more support.

Issac and his brother and father, the day before he died. Photo taken from

Moments like this remind me of the fragility of life, they remind me that while my kids may drive me nuts I still had today with them. This is such a heartbreaking story and I hope this family can feel all of the love, peace and comfort God in Heaven is able to pour down upon them.




A raw emotional aside-

I rather hate condolences. What can I, a person unacquainted with grief, offer to this family in their time of deep loss? The only loss I have ever known is a distant adolescent memory of the loss of my grandmother, which was easily overshadowed by teenage egocentricity.

It seems simple to offer some spiritual affirmation of peace and hope when you are not the person enveloped in the grief of death. But it also seems somewhat trivial and trite. I do truly hope they can evetually have a lasting comfort about this situation, but I also feel like I want to tell them it is ok to be pissed off, to be angry for all your family is loosing, for all that his wife will have to pick up and make a life from. For her immense loss. And for all that Issac will never see or do, namely for and with his little girl. It makes me mad that she will never deeply know the man whose genes she bares. I would hope they allow themselves to feel each emotion, let it run through them, accept each emotion for what it is. Eventually let the bad go, release anything that cannot help them advance. But never be ashamed for how they feel, for the moments of self-pity, they are warranted.

And if they are able, be patient with the rest of us who are in a distant way trying to make sense of this situation, trying to grow from it and realizing our fears and regrets.

2 thoughts on “Where does a week go? Issac Winder’s Story

  1. Laura

    Unfortunately I know all too well about grief. And honestly, I think most people overthink what to do or say for those that are grieving. A simple ‘I’m sorry’ means the world, really.


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