A year ago, a graduate student at the University of Missouri began a hunger strike. He told me about it. I broke the story. Soon it was national news.
Anniversaries are a time when people reflect. I could write that post, reflecting on what it was like to report on a man who stopped eating. What it was like to watch this man physically grow weaker and weaker while I had to maintain a professional distance. What it was like to try and wrap my head around his faith in God, which was so strong, a faith that I still cannot comprehend.
But I’m not ready to write that post. My chest still pinches when I think about it.
So I’ll just say this: My life has changed immensely since then. The city where I live, the office where I work, the people in whom I confide, next to whom I wake. That week, one year ago, was still the most challenging of my professional life. It was the week when I learned that the best reporting can come from a place of empathy. In some cases, it must.
I’m grateful I got to write the first draft of that story. I’m thankful for the people who were in my life. Most importantly — I’m glad that student is still alive.