Sunday, June 26, 2011

Writing on Loss: from Joe Posnanski, Wayne Drash and Tommy Tomlinson

Some really remarkable writing lately on the lives and passing of two people... Nick Charles and Nina Leavitt.

Charles is by far the more well known of the two as the former co-anchor of CNN Sports Tonight and then boxing commentator for HBO and Showtime. Diagnosed in Aug 2009 with terminal cancer, he passed away yesterday and left behind three grown children, a wife and five-year old daughter, Giovanna.

His story also has a tremendous amount of uplift and I first learned of Charles through the Mar 2001 Joe Posnanski column "Lessons Of The Fight Game" for Sports Illustrated. This morning I saw word of Charles' death in the Posnanski blog post "My Friend Nick Charles". Both pieces are poignant and portray a life-affirming approach to death (a bit cliche to note here, but true nonetheless).

Further writing on Charles can be found in the lengthy April 2011 CNN piece "Facing death, CNN sports legend embraces life" by Wayne Drash. Really solid work on the man and his life.


The story of Nina Leavitt is perhaps more sad than Charles' in that her passing was sudden and came at a younger age. Written by Tommy Tomlinson for the Charlotte Observer, "Nina & Kristopher: A story of great love, great loss" was actually the second column by Tomlinson on the couple. The first was "Love lands ... and moves quickly" and reads as absolute tragedy given the news of Leavitt's passing.

Powerful writing from Tomlinson (linked to from the aforementioned Joe Posnanski's blog) that reminds of The Last Lecture (which I reviewed here) from Randy Pausch.