This Crappy Obituary – For the Woman I Found Dead in the Starbucks Parking Lot

I thought you were sleeping. It seems silly now, but you must understand, when one sees a person slumped over inside a parked car, the most reasonable conclusion is rarely that the person slumped over is dead. It was the lights from the dashboard that caught my eye. If it weren’t for the lights, I would have missed you completely, and – who knows? – you may still be lying out there, unknowing of the legions of addicts drawn to the verifiable Mecca of caffeine. You’d remain oblivious to the following day’s massive local windstorm and the city’s collective anxiety, followed by elation, when our beloved Seahawks won the big game. You might still be slumped awkwardly over your console, and I suppose your car would be run dry of gas by then, but folks would not be any more observant.

I say it was the lights on your dashboard that caught my eye, and that’s true, but the lights had nothing to do with what kept my interest. Sitting in my comfortable spot inside the caffeine Mecca, I split my time between polishing words and eyeing your little red car with its dash lights illuminated and the subtle wisps of exhaust wafting in the cool morning.

That’s an awful long nap she’s taking.
This is what I kept thinking.
Maybe something’s wrong. I’d better check on her.
I didn’t move, because I had work to do.
Nah, she’s only sleeping. I’ll feel stupid if I go knocking on her window, and I interrupt a perfectly good nap. But, maybe I’ll be doing her a favor. Maybe, she’s taking too long of a nap, and she’s going to be late for work. She’d appreciate it if I saved her from being late to work. She might even be cute. That’s it! She’s a cute, sleeping girl, and she’ll be so appreciative of me waking her, that she’ll offer me her undying love – (in response, I will point out the ring tattooed on my left hand, of course). That settles it. I’m going to wake the cute, sleeping girl. As soon as I finish my chai tea and apple cake.

There is something about having a lot of people around that bothers me. When a person gets around a lot of other people, he has a tendency to do what he sees the others doing. That was the struggle; I vamped inside the coffee shop, watching your little red car – watching it not moving – the car beside it leaving, replaced by another, leaving, replaced by another, leaving.

Nobody is knocking on her window. How can I knock on her window, when it’s been firmly established by dozens of people, that we are NOT knocking on that window today? This whole knocking on the window idea is clearly insane! NOBODY is knocking on that damn window!

You don’t know this, because I never got a chance to tell you, but I decided before walking from the coffee shop that I was indeed going to knock on your window. I knew as I walked out the twin glass doors that – even should I chicken out, jump in my grimy SUV, and drive off – before I reached the exit of the parking lot, I would glance once more in the rear-view mirror and see your car, still sitting there, and I would wheel around, drive back, and do that thing that no rational person should do. I skipped all the leaving and coming back, and instead, went and knocked on your window.

As I did this, I knew you were not sleeping. Nobody sleeps in a position like the one you were in. I knocked louder, on the off-chance you were a really sound sleeper who enjoys snoozing in cockeyed positions. Still nothing. I passed over to the driver’s side, lifted a hand to knock.
Oh shit! Oh shit! OH SHIT!

It wasn’t the purple, spectral color along the lines of your outstretched hand, nor along your awkwardly jutting chin. It was your eyes. There’s something that happens to a person’s eyes when they die. I never knew this before I discovered you, but now I know. The eyes – they grow absent. That is to say, the material part of the eye remains, but the other part – the eyes within the eyes – that part goes away. That was you. You were gone away.


So you know, I’ve searched for you.
“Woman found dead in car” – I found a lot those when I googled the phrase, but none of them was you.
“Woman found dead outside Starbucks” – Turns out you’re not the first of those, either. I couldn’t locate your needle in that haystack. So many haystacks, and even more needles; I guess most of them are bound to be ignored by the Google bots. But your particular needle pricked me where it hurts, so I can’t ignore you as I tend to ignore the rest.
Perhaps this will change things. Perhaps, by writing this, I am putting a magnifier on your needle, drawing some small attention to our little haystack. You’re worth more than this, of course you are, but I can only do what my limited capabilities allow me to do. If I perform you a disservice with this crappy obituary, please forgive me, but here is what I can say, based on what I observed of you:

She loved to laugh. She was fun to be around, but she knew when to be serious.
You could count on her. She was usually early and always prepared for what needed to be done.
She was smart.
She enjoyed books, but struggled with finding enough time to read them.
She loved children.
She did not indulge in shallow relationships; therefore, her circle of friends was small, but close.
She was beautiful.
Her heart was big – some might say too big – because things bothered her, but they were the sorts of things that ought to bother a person, like injustice, over-consumption, or violence against the meek.
She was strong.
She will be missed, whoever she was.

467 replies »

      • I love the “eyes within the eyes”
        that’s a wonderful way to put it. I know exactly what you are talking about.
        terrific post

      • This. Is. Amazing.
        I’m curious, though. You came up with this obituary “based on what you observed of her”; may I ask, what were your observations that led you to conclude the kind of person she was?

      • What a very sad eulogy this is for a young woman!
        Lucas you are truly a good spirit and I only wish that we as humans can be more like this, rather than being wrapped up in our own little worlds.
        If we took more time to check on others and raise the alarm when something seems untoward maybe a life can be saved rather than lost alone and probably in pain.
        What has society come to when a daughter and sister a fiance is lost to the world due to people’s inattention to an occupied vehicle with a young lady not moving.
        Bravo Lucas for A: being a caring human being.
        And B: writing such a fitting obituary.


      • Our society today is really sad. We pay more attention to our Facebook feeds than we do to people right in front of our faces. We are all in too big of a hurry.

    • You’re so, so right..Yet as one of my fave quotes says@It is never a wrong time , to do what it right! I could tell , somehow, by the heartfelt words that this was true..Excellent write & sentiment..Very glad Legionwriter did the right thing..How surreal it must’ve been to walk upon her car to discover she was gone..

  1. Dude, that was great! I mean…you understand. I loved this and it comes at a time where my 2nd draft of my essay is due tomorrow. I had no idea you blogged or were anything else other than a damned good salesman. I’m following this blog now and I will be going through your others. Nice dude, really nice this flowed great and really drew me a picture both of the physical and what goes through anyones mind when their left and right brains battle.

  2. Thank you for finding Sabrina she was an employee, friend, and “daughter” to me. She was a fiercely loyal and competitive person. She wrestled with my daughter for two years @ ERHS, and worked for me for 4.5. I so appreciate the fact that you stopped to check, without you she could still be there!!! Crappy obituary…no…thank you for finding Sabrina Collins!!!

  3. This is true… My name is Jon and i was her boyfriend… We were together three and a half years and were going to be married. This girl was my world… my everything… please contact me Lucas i have some questions about how she was found that no one seems to be able to answer. i loved this woman with my whole heart and soul and would like to have a little more closure. I have to say that for never even meeting her your description of her was hauntingly accurate and described her to a T. My name is Jon Chabot please find me on Facebook. I don’t know how i stumbled across this but i cant help but think it was for i reason. To help you know that im not someone making things up the car was a red four door chevy aveo with flower air fresheners hanging from the review mirror… Her name was Sabrina…

      • Thank you very much for your words do you think you could call me one of these days soon or maybe meet up and talk over coffee? i can’t even explain how bad i want answers to what happened and you are my only real connection to what happened at the end. whatever you decide just know that i am forever grateful to the one man that went to check…

  4. Sabrina collapsed at work on Wednesday. The hospital said there was nothing wrong with her and sent her home with the advice to see a neurologist. She didn’t get the chance. She went shopping for textbooks on Thursday afternoon and never came home. My sister and her son, Jon, searched for her that night and the next morning through the pouring rain, trying to keep from sobbing so they could see to find her and knowing that she likely had another collapse. I’m so thankful that you acted on your impulses Lucas and knocked on her window. I’m so thankful that Jon and Sandy didn’t have to keep desperately searching for her for another couple of days. It’s horrible to lose her but worse to not know where she is. Sabrina’s older brother collapsed and died when he was 17. The examiner is doing an autopsy on her brain so they can figure out what went wrong. Hopefully, this information will save her younger brother. The girl in the Starbucks parking lot was only 21. And you’re right, Lucas, she will be missed.

    • Thanks so much for reading and for taking time to fill in some details. I knew when I found her that she was young, but this all just takes my breath away. I pray they do find out what what caused this, so it doesn’t happen to another.

    • I’m not sure if this is a possibility. I have lost 4 siblings and a niece and nephew ( all before the age of 17) to a condition called Prolonged QT syndrome. It is a genetic cardiac disorder that affects the electrical portion of the heart. It usually happens in younger people. It is undectable unless they do special tests. One of the precursors is syncope. Maybe your family could look into that.

      • I was thinking exactly the same thing. Unfortunately Long QT can’t be confirmed once there is no cardiac electrical activity. Given there were two sudden and unexpected deaths in the family, it seems suggestive of a cardiac arrhythmia like Long QT. So very sad. The living siblings should all be tested for arrhythmia.

  5. I agree with everyone, you were spot on. She was loved and we will miss her. It’s amazing what you wrote. Thank you. -Tomas

  6. Sabrina has been one of my best friends since the ninth grade. She was a beautiful soul and your perception of the woman she was is uncanny in its accuracy. Thank you so much for not only having the courage to knock, but for writing this and magnifying her haystack. You are a gifted writer.

  7. Lucas, you are a beautiful person. Thank you. A friend, her aunt, posted this and I am blessed to read it. The LOVE of God overflow you today. You were just the right person at just the right time.

  8. My friend posted this on facebook because Sabrina is her neice. This is an incredible article and though I don’t personally know Jon or Sabrina, I thank you for writing this and especially the ending has left me in tears. Not just a wonderfully written article, but recognizing the person and such a beautiful descriptive, imagining who this stranger may be to her world and those who love her. Well done Sir. Well done.

  9. Words can not express how grateful I am for you. I am Sabrina’s cousin and I can’t thank you enough for the simple brave act of just knocking on the window. In this day and age we as a society have moved from actively checking on strangers to simply observing not wanting to intrude. This Obit has everything that crosses our minds when we feel something is not right but we fear it is not our place. Without even knowing her, you described her perfectly. You write so beautifully, never stop. With one simple act you brought closure to the people who loved her. Thank you.

  10. I read this from my friends facebook post. She is Sabrina’s aunt. Wow. You are a dynamic writer. I did not know Sabrina personally,but I am appreciative of how you captured her. How you imagined who she must be in her world and to those she loved. How you did not “steal the show” as a writer but caused us to feel the reality of the situation. I believe you have left a writing that this family will cherish. Well done Sir. Well done. (I’d love to see your story go viral)

  11. Thankful to you for listening to that your inner voice on “that day”. So often in today’s society.. many can’t be bothered to check on those around them or show kindness. I appreciate your actions that day-your actions put to rest the worry and fears for a “missing person’s” family and friends who were frantically looking for her and praying for her safe return. The knowing is better than the not knowing. I also appreciate the respect and the manner with which you wrote this very touching tribute. Sabrina’s Aunt Dane is a very special lady… Sabrina came from good people ( as we say in the South). Loving ,caring .generous to a fault.. good people! Her grandmother-one of the nicest ladies you could ever meet. Her Great Grandmother much of the same.. these fine ladies are all Godly women with the strength and determination to overcome hardships and life disappoints -it seems so rare to find in people today. This family has suffered the loss of Sabrina’s mother at a very early age to cancer, Sabrina’s brother just a few days before his 18th birthday approx 5 years ago and now Sabrina… so you can imagine the overwhelming sense of grief and despair… but you sir have allowed the healing to begin. God continue to Bless you and Keep you. God has blessed you with a beautiful talent, not only in writing and expressing yourself, but in observing and SEEING the world around you and having compassion for your fellow man.

  12. I don’t know who found it, I don’t know how it was found, but it came to my attention and I wept. This is the story of the finding of my daughter, the day my life crashed… again.

    Thank you to Mr. Lucas Draeger not only for finding my daughter Sabrina and calling the police; but also for the hauntingly beautiful and accurate depiction of Sabrina. May your generosity be repaid a thousand fold.

    The cause of death for Sabrina and her brother Stephen is unknown. The coroner’s autopsy found no abnormalities in either of my children. It is believed to be a genetic defect which causes the “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” although we do not have definitive proof of that.

    Once again thank you Mr. Draeger.

    I am eternally grateful,
    Sabrina and Stephens father

    • Mr. Collins, I’ve read that you also have a younger son. Please consider bringing him to Children’s Hospital in Boston. They have an incredible team of pediatric specialists. Their neurology team diagnosed a rare condition in our first daughter that helped us treat her and our second baby girl who had the same. Doctors elsewhere were mystified. We had to wait six months for an appointment, but perhaps under the circumstances they’ll see you sooner. I’m so very sorry for your loss of Sabrina and Stephen.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I posted earlier that my family has a genetic Cardiac condition called prolonged qt syndrome. I have lost many young family members before we found out what it was. The symptoms described about both your children are eerily familiar. This condition is undetectable on an autopsy or just regular cardiac work up. My entire family was a genetic study at the University of Chicago. I have other living family members who have been diagnosed through specific testing. You can go to Arizona for information. I hope this helps and again I am so sorry for your loss.


    • Mr Collins,
      First I am so sorry for the loss of both of your children. This story sounds eerily familiar. I am the youngest of 14 children and have 21 nieces and nephews. I have had two brothers die suddenly at the age of 14. Two sisters who went into cardiac arrest and were brought back. One was 28 and the other 32. My niece died suddenly at the age of 16, and a nephew at 15. Nothing was found on any of the autopsies, however somehow someone figured out it was a condition called Prolonged QT syndrome. They performed a genetic study on my family at the University of Chicago. They performed A non-exercise (medication) stress test on everyone in the family and found more than half of all of us have Prolonged QT syndrome. We are on beta-blockers and haven’t had a sudden cardiac death in over 20 years. Maybe you could look into it speak with you doctor and have tests performed on any family members. I hope this helps. Again I am sorry for you loss.

      Margaret King

  13. Lucas I just read this. You are an amazing soul for knocking on the window, and we don’t know the response we will receive. A very kind act, that saved the Family more heartache. Thank you for doing the right thing. May wonderful blessings come your way. Janice

  14. May I write this. Your article is SO HONORING. Here is my experience about a month ago. At night, along a highway, in a semi rural area; a car with lights on is perpendicular into the ditch. No one is stopping. No one is stopping. I look back, and no one is stopping. So I must pull over, like you my head is screaming these incongruous thoughts. Fear is hitting me. What if this is a prank? What if it is a set-up? … I cannot see anyone in the car. Maybe they already got out. No one is stopping. I’m afraid to approach the car and I can’t see anyone in it. The engine is running, the lights are on and I can’t see anyone in the car. This car has missed the driveway. If I open the door, maybe a scary movie will happen to me here in the dark and no one is stopping. … She moved her face toward the window, she was elderly, she was dazed, by now two vehicles have stopped. She gave me her name, the calls were made, her friends arrived. I had prayed and now I left. My experience was … so weird. The fears that attacked me were … so weird. And tonight I drove on after seeing a jeep, deep in a muddy rut along a dirt road. I didn’t stop to see if they needed help. I didn’t stop. I could have called 911 on my own just in case, but … I didn’t. God, help us to see others with honor … and help us to be wise at the same time. Thanks for letting me process.

    • I saw a car flipped over in the ditch this past weekend, and another in the ditch with it but not flipped, and another parked on the side of the road, all empty, but the flipped one still had its lights on. It was very late, I was alone, and I had many of those same fears you did, plus realized the incline was very steep and snow covered and my shoes sucked, so if I went down the hill to check …I wasn’t so sure I could get back up, then I”D need 911 myself (it was about 12 degrees out). So I called 911. They said someone was already on the way. Still felt a little guilty about not stopping, but with the professionals already on their way there didn’t seem to be much need.

  15. As someone who was once very close to this beautiful person, thank you for writing this. You cannot imagine how much it means to me.

  16. May this story remind us all that the stranger we see is someone’s daughter, friend and love. Thanks for the reminder Lucas. God bless you and Sabrina’s friends and family. What sadness and raw love in reading your blog and replies…

  17. Lucas you have done a great service to mankind and to Sabrinas loved ones. You are truly talented and giving.Sabrina was going to college and wanted to be a teacher. she loved literature and i know she would have loved this. Thank you so very much for trying help her. I can’t express my. appreciation enough. I am Jons mom and I looked at Sabrina like one of my own daughters. You gave a beutiful. tribute

  18. Lucas, I hope you are able to seek counseling for what surely was a life-altering experience. Bless you for your action.

  19. Thanks for this. It hit home with me. My Grandfather was found in his car, at a gas station. Died of old age, however. I always wondered what, the person who had found him, had been thinking/feeling. This gave me a little insight and some comfort. Very beautiful.

  20. This is an amazing story Lucas you are a great man and this is def. not some crappy obituary this is amazing for you to do!! Great words my friend! I don’t know who the young lady is that passed but I pray for her family and friends that they can find the closure that they need!

  21. I also found a dead woman in her car in the parking lot behind my condo. But I never found out who she was or why she was there. I’ve always wondered. Oddly, this gave me a weird kind of closure. Thank you. Beautifully written.

  22. Sabrina was one of my oldest son’s high school friends. I do not know her family but I do remember Sabrina fondly – she was like a ray of sunshine! I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and heartache that her family is enduring. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and Lucas, thank you so much for being there that day and writing such a wonderful “obituary” which has helped us all mourn Sabrina and remember her fondly.

  23. Lucas, your article is beautiful and well written. Sabrina was friend of my family and you were very accurate with your description. Thank you for taking the time to put these kind works together, and most of all for following your intuition to knock on her car window to find out if she was ok. Sabrina will be greatly missed and please keep her and her family in your prayers. Thank you again.

  24. This was beautifully written and at the same time a very sad reminder of how disconnected we have become from each other. I can’t imagine this family’s pain but your words seemed to have comforted those who knew and loved Sabrina and inspired those who did not. Thank you so much for your article. It’s a wonderful reminder that simple acts of kindness and caring can touch so many lives and remind us of our own humanity. Thank you for sharing this story.

  25. may we always recognize a human being deserving of a check-in even when others don’t. it is right to care, to involve ourselves in whats going on around us. to the family, i’m so very sorry for your loss. to the man who found her and shared this story, thank you. thank you for reminding us that its always worth the risk to check in.

  26. I didn’t know this woman, but I am so glad you checked on her. My dad passed away this summer. He had a stroke and sat alone in his vehicle and no one checked in him. My mom had a bad feeling and left early for work to find him. He had sat there for some time. Maybe had someone checked on him, he would have been able to give us somewhat of a real goodbye, maybe suffered less. Or maybe none of those, but it does mean something that someone was willing to check on a fellow human being. I’m so sorry to those who lost her. My condolences are with you.

  27. Holy… this is amazing, and to know that this is true is just so… wow. Message me on here, if you ever have time to do so.

  28. Thank you for writing this. Very beautiful and obviously moving to her friends and family. I had a similar situation…driving down a country road…truck pulled over…boots sticking out the passenger door…lucky for me he was a drunk sleeping it off…he did not respond to my verbals and finally started talking to me while I was on the phone with 911…friends warn me not to do such things…and even though he was just sleeping off his party from the night before…I just think what if he needed help. He is still somebody’s brother, friend, son, father…who knows…granted my friend the dispatcher added drug crazed psycho…I still want to think the world is mostly good

  29. Thank you so much for being willing to go the extra mile. I am convinced that if we view the world in a positive manner, much good flows back to us. I too have had to step into scary situations, but I feel that we must be our brothers keeper. I would want someone to help protect me also. What a beautiful post.

  30. Oh, wow! What an experience and what a way to honor it!! Beautifully written. Thank you for doing what others wouldn’t do and for sharing this experience with us. I’m quite positive it has had an impact on you and now that we’ve read about it, it’s had its impact on each of us, too.

    Blessings to you, Lucas!

  31. Lucas, thank you so much for writing this and for your involvement. Sabrina is a relative of mine. I will be seeing the family tomorrow to pay last respects. You need to know that it is people like you who truly make a difference in this world, a world that needs more of the same. Thank you.

      • That’s when the writing becomes such magic. From the heart and for ourselves. Then it truly has the potential to touch others as we see here. So wonderful on all counts. So glad this father was gifted with answers, thanks to you and your special soul.

  32. Very moving to read the story and then read responses of people who knew her…
    Thank you.

    On the work the other day in the underground in London they announced a delay on one line as someone had jumped in front of the train. While all those about me grumbled about the delay, I just thought of a person who felt that on a Monday morning she or he was going to end their life and felt sad for them and all those who knew them.

    Your blog reminded me of this..

    • Sometimes I feel like I lose a little faith in humanity when situations like the one you describe on the underground happen.

      A similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago because somebody had jumped in front a train further up the line. Because of the delay, when I finally got on my train it was packed and I could hardly move… I was sandwiched in between two people who were complaining about the delay and saying how selfish that person was for jumping in front of a train. I was very taken aback! All I could think was that if someone is in so desperate and terrible a state that they end their life, we should be compassionate and kind, not accuse them of ‘selfishness’.

      Reading posts like this remind me that there are people – strangers – out there who care and who will do the right thing.

  33. This part here is exactly what so many people struggle with –>”When a person gets around a lot of other people, he has a tendency to do what he sees the others doing. That was the struggle…” Whether it be knocking on a window or standing up for the kid being bullied, it’s not easy to go against the flow. As a 15 year police officer, I’ve seen many dead faces, and you described them perfectly. Kudos to you for giving this woman a proper sendoff.

  34. Isn’t this freakish. I remember once I was in a comedy club, and someone dropped dead at the next table. 10 feet away. I could “just tell” he’d died and after the EMTs worked on him for awhile and then had us all leave the room, I knew. I searched for him in the paper and there he was a few days later. We just never know how long we’ve got. He was 35 and an athlete.

  35. I liked your internal dialogue going back and forth with whether or not to check on her. We humans are a strange a breed. Interesting post. Great writing.

  36. Every day there are the missing. Those who disappear. The blank look is the first step and then poof they are gone. I am sure they are out there waiting to be discovered. You are right about the eyes. With the soul gone they stare and do not see.

  37. Years ago I found a man slumped over his steering wheel at a red light. I knocked on the window and the car started to move as if his foot had finally slipped off the brake. It was heading in to a busy intersection and luckily the door was unlocked. As I reached my foot in and hit the brake the man woke up. I told him what happened and asked him if he was ok. He was visibly irritated with me and sternly said he was fine. Despite his lack of gratitude and irritation with me, I was so relieved that he wasn’t dead. I wish you’d had a similar experience. You are a good person because you take notice of the world around you and stop to care about the well being of other people. We need more of you.

    Thank you for sharing. Be well.

  38. Beautifully written, having read the comments I wish it had been a beautifully written piece of fiction. Seems you were able to answer some questions that every family should have answers to, showed someones daughter, mother, fiance, friend respect and compassion when no one else did. Bless your heart and my thoughts are with those affected by Sabrina’s passing.

  39. Wow! Thank you for doing the right thing for all the right reasons – we all wish we would have done the same in that situation but we all still wonder……. but now you know. Thank you for the doing and the sharing.

  40. Wow. Talk about drinking a different cup? Well I cant speak for the dead but I sure would have appreciated your knocking if I had died, in my vehicle. At the very least to leave spouse with a working vehicle but deeper than that it shows people still look around and notice. Most only notice other things such as a fb update. Thank you for sharing!

  41. As I’m reading the comments I’m glad you mustered up the courage. In our busy lives with so much on our plates something as simple as taking an extra second can be so profound. Your one act of courage brought a sliver of peace and possible hope for her younger brother. God bless!

  42. I was at work one day getting carts out of the parking lot. There was a guy sitting in his car, with the door open. He had a lit cigarette in his hand and was slumped in his seat. He looked like he was sleeping but I thought the same thing as you. No one would ever sleep like that. I tried to wake him but he wouldn’t wake up. I thought he was dead but the paramedics were able to revive him. It was the scariest moment of my life. This article really related to me and what I went through. Thank you

  43. If only to bring attention to the universal feeling that you will not be appreciated for getting involved when your instincts tell you someone may need help, I am glad your wrote this post. That this was a true story, not some sort of prompt of the day, is an amazing reminder to us all that:

    1. Life is Short, help someone 2. We are all interconnected, help someone. 3. Always trust your instincts, help someone.

    We may never know if this young woman may have been saved by someone who had seen her earlier and ignored their instincts, and I am sincerely sorry for this family’s loss (after, what appears to be many losses, so very sad.)

    May you continue writing so that we may be touched by your very eloquent words and learn from them. Thank you for knocking on the window.

  44. A wonderful story with a sad ending. You did something that very few people would do. Very kind words for a complete stranger. May her and her family have some peace. Thank you.

  45. Wow. How many would have the courage to do what you did, Lucas? Such a sad story, but filled with such hope, too. You’re a truly amazing person!

  46. Thanks Lucas for sharing this sad but beautiful story. I was hoping it was fiction. My heart goes out to her family. I just want to thank you for being who you are. The world needs more Lucas! May the Lord bless you. You are an awesome writer.

  47. You are forever changed by this. Every one of us reading your story should be in absolute awe of you. I am.

  48. Your discovery was a gift. It’s up to you whether to see it as a blessing or a curse, but no one can change the fact that you got out of your way, and tried to help a soul the best way you can/know how. I know I don’t see a lot of people like you nowadays, but you are a living proof that there are still some with a good heart out there… May God bless you more.

  49. Damn. This is truly somber, and beautiful at the same time. Condolences to the friends and family of Sabrina.

  50. “Nobody is knocking on her window. How can I knock on her window, when it’s been firmly established by dozens of people, that we are NOT knocking on that window today? This whole knocking on the window idea is clearly insane! NOBODY is knocking on that damn window!”

    And that my friend is the essence of the bystander effect… but at least you were able to resist. It’s probably something that will haunt you for a long time, but I’m sure her loved ones appreciated that someone knocked on that window.

  51. I think you paid an awesome tribute to someone you did not know. I grew up in Houston, Texas and I remember finding a person in a car where I worked my first job. It was very hard for me, as I can tell it was for you. You absolutely did this lady kindness and justice. Thank you for the read.

  52. I didn’t know the woman who died. But I’m sure it has been an incredible loss to her family. I do know that you’re a very powerful writer. Maybe one of the most powerful I’ve ever read. Maybe it’s because you’ve experienced something most of us hope never to experience. Or maybe it’s because you’re incredibly gifted. I hope the latter. Be blessed.

  53. Lucas,

    My eyes filled with tears reading this very sad story. I kept thinking how alone she was until you found her. I will prey for Sabrina who should have had more time to enjoy this world but, I know that she is in a better place. I prey for her family and friends as the loss of a loved one never really heals. Finally, I prey for you Lucas as I am sure that this has been an incredibly sad experience for you. However, you can always know that because of you she is not alone anymore….

  54. This is beautiful and so touching that through this you were able to give the family some peace. It’s true, too often – even when there are larger, louder signs of something being wrong, we are too afraid to get involved. Some may assume someone else will take care of it, some just don’t want to be late. So glad you were caring enough to put yourself out there, heart first!

  55. Wow, what a fantastic blog post. I’m new here and I was just surfing around on wordpress and happened to land on this gem of a reading, and man, am I glad I did. As I was reading your post, my heart ached for the woman, and it finally broke as I was reading the comments saying that it was a true story. Thank you for sharing your experience because I truly enjoyed reading it. My prayers go out to the family.

  56. Reblogged this on Shanah Davis and commented:
    This has nothing to do with my book or the nature of this blog but I don’t care about that. I’m crying for the girl who was found dead in her car at such a insensible place in such an insensible way by a very sensible human being. I’m crying for that guy too.

    How sad all of this is. And the comments from the thankful family members, finally at some sort of peace. How sad and strangely comforting to see their pain-veiled gratitude.

    And all because one man chose to be action-taker instead of just a casual observer. And to humbly write his heartfelt obituary – his tribute to a nameless woman with no easily found obituary of her own.

    I really have no words. I’m just reacting through the emotional thoughts running through my mind. Thank God for people who still take action – by knocking and by writing.

    God bless the family and friends, and of each person affected by Sabrina’s loss of life, as well as those affected by the discovery of her death.

    Not a crappy obituary, sir. Not at all.

  57. Wow. Just wow. Like you, weird and unusual situations happen right in front of me. I ask God all the time to stop adding drama to my life with these weird situations. He always says, “But Caroline, you always do something about it.” He’s right! Of all those in my circle, none have placed themselves in awkward moments like this. Thank you for showing me that I’m not crazy for stepping in when others won’t. Especially thank you for writing this so that Sabrina’s mom can have some semblance of closure. You did that. You made a choice to step up and step out – when NO ONE else did. I know you didn’t do this for accolades but you are hero. Your actions have challenged us all to step up and do better. Thank you. Thank you. Really, thank you.

  58. Beautifully written, the name of the post caught my attention. The first thought after I finished reading was “Is this for real?” After reading the comments I’m so sad to know that it’s true. Thank you for knocking on her window.

  59. Thank you for knocking on her window. What an unforgettable and sad discovery. You have written this with grace and provided her such dignity. I’m glad it was you that found her.

  60. How beautifully written, and the unfolding of the story in the comments is nothing short of amazing, and gripping…

  61. It is a beautifully written article. The comments section gripped me even more.
    You are a wonderful person and have brought closure to many. God bless you Lucas. The world needs more souls like you.

  62. I just finished reading this and can’t find the words to express what I’m feeling… words seem so inadequate.
    You write beautifully. Reading this post sent shivers through me and brought tears to my eyes. When I started reading I hoped so much that it was fiction but I knew that it wasn’t. Many other people have already said this but I’m glad you stepped out and knocked on that window. I hope Sabrina’s family and friends find peace after their tragic, tragic loss.

  63. I’m speechless after reading this ! How horrifying it must’ve been for you to find her like that. But how incredibly human (I mean that as a compliment, its so easy to dehumanize people we don’t know, isn’t it ?) of you to have written this blog. I truly loved reading this. Faith in humanity restored. Thank you.


  64. You retold the story well. The part about the eyes really got to me. What an interesting experience. Thanks for sharing it and I hope you’re feeling okay about it. I’m sure it’s not easy discovering a dead person.

  65. That was one of the most touching things I’ve read in such a long time and your words are deep and meaningful. I never say things like this lightly, I was moved. Thank you for noticing her and taking the time to knock on her window. I’m sure she meant so much to so many people. I wonder how she died. Did you ever find out?

    You’re a good person…just by reading this I know.

  66. Thank you for being a man of great compassion, character and a talented writer. You, kind sir gave of yourself when others would not and that makes you a hero as well in my books. Prayers for the family and friends for comfort and strength, for you to find peace within after such an experience. Reblogged on amotherssorrow.

  67. Beautiful article Lucas. Heart wrenchingly beautiful obituary for Sabrina, the poor girl. I’m astounded by your observation skills, keenly noted by those who knew her. It is an article full of inspiration to knock and check on other people even when the crowd is flowing in another direction. Good on you.

  68. Thank you for sharing this experience, Lucas. You didn’t need to knock on the window, and you didn’t need to write about it, yet you did both. You have helped the family to grieve, and you have helped the rest of us to take stock and think of the important things in life. Very very moving. Hope all is well with you. My condolences to the family.

  69. This was so moving. Written with such sincerity and warmth. Simple and simply devastating. Wonderful writer. Even better person.

  70. Thank you for being a kind person. We need more people who will turn from themselves and notice other people around them. I’m sure you carried her with you on that Friday and many days after…I can see from your story how much it affected you.

  71. Someone, just as you, found my son lying beside his truck. He was unresponsive. The neighbor called 911 and a local police responded. Raymond Zachry was dead. Six years later and I still remember the call – it is one you never forget. Ray had been poisoned and the coroner refuses to allow an investigation. Some day I will know who, when and why it happened.

    God bless you for stopping.

  72. “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”
    – Isaac Bashevis Singer
    Lucas you are a person of great moral character, you did a nice thing, etending a kindness to a stranger, and for that, we all thank you.

  73. Glad you checked on her, some people never listen to their inner voice. Hope her family heals in time. Great story. She was pretty great, so many comments about her. Prayers for u ‘ll. CREATIVELY blessed.

  74. This made a big impression on me. Thanks for writing this up. I wish there were many more people like you, who just have the guts to go up to a stranger and check if they are ok. 🙂

  75. I am so touched by this story. And then to read down the comments about Sabrina. To those without her now, I am so very sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was an amazing young woman. Thank you for sharing this and for doing the right thing and checking on her. I hope if faced with something similar, I will have the strength of character that you had to do the same.

  76. Thank you. For your words and your courage to do what most people think they would have done, but few actually do.

  77. Your post is beautiful and very moving. It is also somewhat comforting to know that there are still people out there who are willing to step out of the crowd and act on their gut feeling. Not to mention to decide to write about it. Too many people quietly slip out of this world unmentioned. Your actions not only helped Sabrina’s family and friends but through you Sabrina managed to touch many hearts of people that she would under normal circumstances never met. I am one of those. Thank you for your humanity.

  78. You succeeded. I googled woman found dead in car and found this at the top of the page. I cannot imagine finding her. Well, I kind of can. I witnessed a drunk driving accident in which I watched the life leave a person. It’s something that will follow you hauntingly.

  79. So sad. I know what you mean about vacant eyes. I saw it in my grandmother when she was gone. It didn’t even look like her anymore; just a shell. I’m glad you took the time to care, when everyone else passed her by.

  80. It took a lot of guts to knock on that window, not knowing what the end result might be.

    My sincere condolences go out to those who knew and loved Sabrina.

  81. Your story inspired me to be more observant. To look for a place to help. Your actions may initially seemed to be too late as the woman was already gone. Now your actions seem to have been perfectly timed. Your words caused healing and closure to Sabrina’s loved ones. I hope many people and find this post and take something useful from it. I certainly did. Great job! Very well written.

  82. I had chills while reading this. While crunching loudly on carrots I wasn’t sure if I was overwhelmed by how loud the crunch of the carrot was or if I was anxious to reach the end of the story. I was in a situation like this a few weeks ago but fortunately the man was indeed just napping. Thanks for sharing!

  83. You are a beautiful writer.
    I couldn’t imagine what that morning would have felt like for you, but your writing made me feel like I was there with you.

    I hope that you find solace in this tragedy through your writing.

  84. Lucas…

    Thank you for remembering to be human in a time when so many have forgotten how or don’t care to be bothered. I’m sure you saved Sabrina’s family from the stress of her disappearance, even if it was only to let them know of her death. Sad answers are better than no answers at all. I hope you are doing ok, as this had to have been traumatic.


  85. Wow – such powerful writing and an incredible response to your words. It particularly touched me because I did the same thing for someone and went through a similar thought process. Fortunately I found them while they were still breathing…who they were and whether they survived after the ambulance took them away I’ll never know.

  86. Beautiful, just beautifully written – I don’t mean too, but I seem to always be the one who stops at a scene or picks up someone stumbling along the pavement, collapsing in the supermarket when no one else is bothered or too scared…perhaps its daft that I put myself in potential harms way. However I know that I will sleep knowing I have done what I can – if I were just to turn and walk away my conscience would be my ruin. Its a hard thing to live with, the images (I have a photographic memory) but I know if I didn’t go and have a look the questions of “what if?” would keep me awake at night and haunt me more! Its nice to know someone would do the same for me. You did more than the right thing – in time the mind heals – Im sorry you have had to go through this experience.

  87. I hope that writing this helped you find more information, but more than anything I hope it helped with your inner peace. This was wonderfully written! I felt like I was in your shoes and because of that I want you you to find the answers you’re looking for.

    I’m glad you got the courage to knock on the window!

  88. I am absolutely amazed by reading this post and the responses. A sad loss to be sure but it is wonderful to see, in a very bittersweet way, how so many of you who knew her were able to find each other and share, lovingly, and sportively, in this loss. My condolences to all.

    Hope that came out right…

  89. Very moving article and I’m glad that the family has found some closure based on this. The comment on the eyes resonated with me in particular. About 25 years ago, one of my neighbors showed up to our house telling us that his friend (another elderly man) was dying. It was middle of the winter and so we had to use my dad’s 4WD pickup to get close to the guy’s house. My dad carried him the hundred yards or so from the house to the truck and put him in the passenger side. I got into the passenger side to hold him up. While I was waiting for my dad to get back around to the driver side, the man gasped slightly and the life drained from his eyes. I snapped my fingers, called out his name and shook him briefly with no response. As my dad got in, I told him that I thought Charlie’s friend had died. Right about then, he gasped again and the life came back into his eyes. I have no doubt that he was gone for a moment but came back. We transferred him to the back of my car (an awesome Vega station wagon) and I drove the 24 miles to the hospital like a bat out of hell. He ended up living another 10 years.

    I wish that Sabrina and Lucas’s story could have ended up more like mine.

  90. I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you for sharing it. Your a kindhearted individual and I am sorry you are going through this. I am sure it is foreign and painful in a whole new way.

  91. Good write, I too know the “eyes within the eyes” and the searching for who it was I too had a similar experience this past fall and I just never could find a way to write about it.

  92. Beautiful and haunting… then I read the comments. I can’t believe she was only 21. I am so sorry for the family who lost this young woman. Wonderful that you stopped. Even more so that you then wrote about her.

  93. OH MY GOD. I so love love loved reading this. I’m not saying much about how I felt reading it because I don’t know how to describe it. All I want to say is thank you for sharing this experience and I feel like reading more and more from this author. 🙂

  94. This is utterly extraordinary. Very well written too. You’re wonderful, what you did. Really, just sad this reality in our world.

  95. Lucas, This is utterly amazing. Your writing is stellar, but it’s the humanity that you demonstrated, the compassion you gave to this young woman, the soul of your actions that take my breath away. Your kindness, your willingness to recognize her, give her a voice, to hold the horror of it, and make something beautiful is such a huge gift to us all. Thank you for this gift. I receive it, you, and her with gratitude. ~BigLizzy

  96. I started to respond to this, stopped, reread then deleted everything I had written. Then I read your responses, although not all of them so I decided I needed to write this after all. I was found behind the wheel, passed out, possibly dying (we still have no idea why even years later) all the while by brain is screaming help somethings wrong, my body, my eyes, nothing, could move, nobody stopped for hours HOURS!. Someone did, called for help, did their beautiful deed and then drove away, I will never be able to thank them, they will never know that because they did the right thing, that I am alive and well, my children still have their mother and that we owe them everything. So, Thank you. I am grateful to you and those like you, who do care, who stop for a human being who is in trouble, a person you were crossed in front of, for a reason. Sabrinas family was lucky it was you.Thank You. To the.person who saved me in scottsdale arizona THANK You! God Bless you! I will pray for you and for Sabrinas family. I wish you all the best!

  97. This makes dying in a car almost unnoticed worth it. Faith in men who care to notice things and write it in great beautiful detail restored. You, sir, are bongga!

  98. Beautifully (and respectfully) written. The emptiness of those eyes is not something that’s easily forgotten, and you captured it perfectly. I’m sorry that you had to go through this, but there are lessons there for all for us…and you brought so much peace to this poor girl’s family and friends. Thanks for being the one who had to knock.

  99. Very touching account of what happened to this young angel. I’m sure she would have appreciated your beautifully written story of the day your paths crossed. Perhaps she picked you out of all those people to find her so her loved ones could receive the message and obtain some amount of peace in coping with their loss of her. Thank you for making a tough and right choice…it’s a good reminder to the rest of us to not fall into the crowd.

  100. So well written. You sure capture man’s disassociation with humanity – “How can I knock on her window, when it’s been firmly established by dozens of people, that we are NOT knocking on that window today?” Well done for bucking the trend.

  101. Sad. I hope that if I die at Starbucks, I make it into the store and have my Triple Venti Non Fat Raspberry Mocha Latte in my hand when it happens. Just sayin.

  102. I read this post thinking “Wow, what a great story.” Then I got to the comments and realized it is not just a great story, but a very true, very sad story. My heart goes out to Sabrina’s friends and family and to you, her unintentional discoverer and memorial writer. I appreciate your thoughtful and personal response to such a tragic tableau. Your words draw us in to mourn this young woman’s life and death. Though many of us who have commented here are strangers — I’m imagining all of us standing around the car that day with you in the Starbuck’s parking lot, lending our emotional and spiritual support to you and to Sabrina. Neither of you were alone that day.

    I am also inspired by your words to continue to listen to that “still small voice” that is all too easy to ignore. May we all be aware, listen and act.

  103. Reblogged this on The Tromp Queen and commented:
    Please take a few minutes to read this incredibly moving story. Yes, it is a TRUE story. I encourage you to read through the comments, too, if you have time. Some of the young woman’s family and friends respond to this blog post. Keep listening to that still small voice — be aware, listen closely and act accordingly whether you want to or not.

  104. On, my goodness!! Two days, I initially read this, I knew I wanted comment on it, yet,I couldn’t at that moment–it WAS 4am, and I hadn’t been asleep! Now, I feel ready. Lukas, sir, you not only an excellent writer, but even better human being. You’ve made this at times, very chaotic, violent world, just a wee bit more peaceful. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  105. I already commented, but after reading your post again I’m wondering what you observed in her car and about her that gave you the information for your “crappy obituary” at the end of your post? Maybe this is being too nosy, so please forgive my asking if it seems too intrusive — but hearing her family and friends say you were right on with your descriptions I’m even more curious. Channeling Sherlock a bit, perhaps?

  106. Tracey Burford - Counsellor Registered Member MBACP Counsellor in Darlington, Catterick Garrison, Richmond says:

    I was compelled to read this because it made me smile, no I am not sadistic in any way shape or form but a similar incident happened to me. This happened in a hospital car park although had a completely different outcome. I did the thing you did, I watched people come and go taking no notice of the rather large male occupant slumped uncomfortably over his steering wheel.
    There were 3 of us in our car and as we were way too early for the appointment we sat watching the world go by on this cold miserable morning. Eventually spurred on by my mother in law I went to investigate, the windows by now were rather steamed up and in my mind this person was now needing to either be rescued or indeed I had left my offer of help way too late.
    In my now urgent state of mind there was no time to waste, I had done enough of that already. I rushed over to his car with haste, I opened the drivers door and no he was not deceased or even ill, I jumped with fright when this loud angry voice asked what I thought I was doing, talk about being embarrassed I don`t know who was more shocked.
    Gripped with fear of being arrested (breaking and entering a car came to mind) I went on to explain and he in turn told me he had been travelling for hours, was tired and lost and had simply fallen asleep whilst looking at his map. He saw that my intentions were good (if a little late) and thankfully laughed and laughed as he saw the funny side.
    Your article has made me smile thinking of my incident, sadly your situation had a different outcome but at least you cared enough to check it out. Even with my Bridget Jones moment (and there have been a few) I would still do it again all too often people ignore those who really are in need of someones attention. Well done.

  107. This is beautiful – and thanks for being someone who acts and reflects…. a little over a year ago – at a flea market – I saw a man collapse and inexpertly performed CPR on him… I later learned he died (I knew then actually – I felt him die while I tried to revive him)… I googled endlessly bc I knew he had people who loved and missed him…. and he was a human who died on my watch- and well, that is a big deal…. I never found more than the blotter entry of his death – I will always wonder. Your blog post somehow helps put closure on that event.

  108. Im glad you chose to step out of your comfort zone that day. It meant a lot to her loved ones obviously. Not on this magnitude but I bet many grapple with the struggle to do what you know is right vs. what may make you stand out. Problem being: most chose daily to ignore the right thing and not feel “stupid” or worse yet be judged. I am glad I found this article. I will be more aware of those feelings and make sure to make the right choice.

  109. If only there were more kind, beautiful people like you in the world… Wouldn’t that be a perfect place to live? Sounds like Sabrina’s death was a sweet reunion in heaven with her brother. Rest sweetly in peace Collins children!

  110. I understand about the eyes behind the eyes. My beloved cat died last year. I found him clawing the rug and crying the most awful cry. He died in my arms and the light went out in his eyes. You did a beautiful thing for the unknown woman because, through the power of the internet, more people will think of her and some may even say a prayer. She is on her way with more feathers in her wings, thanks to you.

  111. I did not read each post, but wanted to suggest a cardiologist as well as a neurologist. It is very possible that these two young people died from sudden cardiac arrest from a genetic heart issue such as prolonged QT – thank you to Mr Draegar for stepping up and trying to make a difference. More lives would be saved if we all did just that!!

  112. You are an example of what is right in this world. It is the simplest gestures of concern, of caring, that can make all of the difference. And you did that for this family. Thank you for not being one of the masses and for showing compassion. And thank you for sharing your story so others can one day show the same concern for others. Your writing is spectacular … I’m just sorry you had to write this and sorry for Sabrina’s family.

  113. This is amazing. What you did is a perfect example of kindness and humanity, too much of what is missing in the world today. In a society where we don’t even know our neighbors anymore, you took a minute to check on a stranger, and in doing so you’ve affected so many lives. Then you write this post, and the same day you’re receiving responses from family and friends of the unknown person you checked on. Technology keeps us focused on ourselves and our own world, but it also brings people together. Thank you for being a caring human being, and a great writer too.

  114. There was a bad accident outside of my house several weeks ago and one of the people in the car was dead when I got to it. Your description of this woman’s eyes is the set of words I’ve been looking for, when I’m asked how I knew the passenger was dead. I knew as soon as I saw them. Touching the passenger for a pulse and looking at their chest for breathing gave me secondary information to what I already knew for certain – the person I was kneeling over was no longer with us.

    Thank you for sharing this with the world.

    Sending you hugs and healing peaceful thoughts.

  115. It has now been over 3 weeks and working on the 4th since all of our lives changed and time seems to have stopped for us. I’m sure your life has also been extremely altered by your discovery. You say you’re not amazing, or heroic, or anything else. Well to a lot of people you are those things and a whole lot more. I’m so very sorry for the heartache that this has caused you. I know that there is such a thing as divine intervention and I believe that God works through the chosen. Lucas you were chosen to be the one…. through that small inner voice that made you curious in the first place. This will probably take a long time for all of us to heal, including you. The loss of Sabrina is in my soul every single day but I want you to know Lucas that you are also in my thoughts every single day!! I hope and pray that you will find peace. I hope you are able to listen to everyone here who is telling you everyday that you are amazing for doing what you did because we think you are. Things have been very difficult but I know that Jon wants to meet you more than anything. Maybe it could bring healing to you both. No matter what, please don’t ever stop writing. You have a gift. Take care dear soul!! Sandy (Jon’s mom).

  116. A number of years ago, I found a man who had committed suicide. It was in the woods near my house. It was a traumatic experience of course, but also an extremely intimate experience, in some bizarre way that I’m sure you understand. I had some of the same feelings you described, wanting to know who this person was, were they loved and missed. What was their history? I’m glad you’ve received some answers to your questions and the young woman’s family is able to connect with you.

  117. I felt like I was there with you experiencing it. Such fabulous writing!! Your alertness and observation caused you to notice her. Can you imagine if she was one of those “invisible” people that society casts aside and doesn’t even notice?

  118. Very, very powerful. I am so glad that you took the time to check, and also the effort to honor this young stranger’s life. My father had an acute, medical emergency about a month ago that caused mass confusion while he was out of town. He was missing for about six hours before he was found at sunset, alive but injured, driving his wrecked car from ditch to ditch. The hours of that afternoon were indescribably awful. Our story had a happier ending, but I’ll never forget the panic and pain of not knowing what had happened before he was found, and I know I would have wanted closure even in the worst case scenario. Your bravery saved this family from further suffering. Thank you for being the type of human being who was willing to check.

    This also reminds me of a time when I was driving home from work, and there was a figure laying in the road. At first, I thought it was a scarecrow/halloween decoration that had blown off of a porch. A nagging feeling caused me to stop my car as others drove by (I’m sure they were thinking the same thing that I was) and discovered that it was an elderly man who had fallen while retrieving his mail. I couldn’t lift him on my own – I’m still ashamed that he fell again when I tried – but I was able to flag down a few burly guys in trucks to help me lift him and get him into his house. The home is now for sale, and I still wonder about that man. Is he still living? Is he okay? It’s kind of incredible how a moment with a stranger can affect and haunt you even years later, but it’s an honor to have that kind of humanity and connection even with someone that you don’t know.

    • I love that story about the man who fell. Thanks for sharing. It seems there is a barrier – something more perceived than real – that separates us from others we don’t know. What beauty is revealed when we peel away that barrier. God bless.

  119. On October 13th, 2012, my mom was found, having died suddenly on her property 36 hours before from an overdose. She lay out in the torrential rain with her dog for company until someone found her. Fortunately it was someone who loved her, but this story of course made me think of her- grateful that maybe if she’d passed somewhere else, someone might think these lovely things of her. Thank you for sharing.

  120. I actually teared up reading this. I love the internal debate and the honor, despite her being a stranger, that you convey while telling a story that most others would probably not pull off. We all need to ‘put a magnifier’ to things that we think are important.

  121. Wow…merciful heavens…I am deeply moved by your bravery and compassion! Earlier this winter my son had fallen asleep in his car in 18 degree weather after it had broken down along the parkway at 12 a.m. He had left me a voicemail on my cell phone which I wouldn’t have heard until the next morning. His phone died right after so he left the hood of his car up and decided to wait. He was awakened from sleeping, his feet were very cold, by a young woman who had decided to stop and check on him. Thank The Lord for her! I believe he would have frozen to death had she not stopped! She told him she knocked on the window for awhile…she wasn’t sure he was real. He sat in her car and she called AAA. All my son could tell me when he woke me at 2:30 a.m. Is that her name is Diamond. She is another brave, special person like yourself. My antennae are up and I will also check-in from here-on-out and not assume that “help must be on the way because we all have cell phones..” God bless you !

  122. I wish WP would give us “like” buttons so we show appreciation for comments.

    Like others, Lucas, I have no doubt you were divinely appointed that day. Your honestly of internal dialogue is a stellar example of what humanity looks like; goodness, decency, and honoring the inner voice, that we all should pay attention to and respect.

    Technology, for all its faults, has hopefully brought you, Sabrina’s family (including Jon and his) some measure of closure, and perhaps even peace.

    Thank you for honoring your instincts, and for taking time to share your experience with those of us who otherwise would know nothing of this tragedy. Blessing to all of you.

  123. You actions and words are stunning. I don’t think anyone that knew her could have put the words to such a song. You followed your own instinct, thank goodness for that. Thank you for sharing your experience with us all.

  124. They may also want to check her heart for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy disease…. My friend was diagnosed with this recently to our surprise.. it can be a cause of many athletes dying suddenly and is hereditary.

  125. I had to repost this on Goggle+, after drying my eyes from both a feeling of love and of loss…. Dear Lucas. Your amazing Eulogy seems to be what the amazing but too short a life of the very special Sabrina deserves..It’s reached as far away as Norway now.

  126. Beautiful in all aspects! Amazing that you found the needle in the haystack….but even more amazing that this “thread” and the needle have created a beautiful tapestry of humble human emotions – thankfulness, grief, gratitude, respect, awareness, closure, love and honor – all in memory of Sabrina. Nothing is coincidence! Thank You.

  127. Moving, thought-provoking, tragic.
    I guess the only thing that puzzles me is the title of this post.
    Why “this crappy obituary”? Because of the behavior of the countless people who ignored the woman? Because the obituary was, itself, crappy? Enlighten me.
    Admittedly, I don’t know you from Adam, just found this via FB.
    regardless, thanks for sharing.

  128. Lucas, someone found my father in his car in 1997. I have always wanted to thank them for doing the right thing and helping my family grieve with the knowledge that our dad was not alone for very long. I don’t think I will ever know who that person was, so I will thank YOU for stopping, checking, calling 911, and writing about your experience.. I am sure what was a few moments of your day will be a lifetime of peace for her family. Many thanks and peace to you.

  129. I have, in the course of my life, found two bodies. One was an old gentleman, sitting on a church stoop, who had had a heart attack (it was late at night, in a bad neighbourhood; I took walks at 3 am because it was genuinely safer then than at 8 in the evening). The other was an addict who used my backyard as the place he got his final fix. I know why I was the person to find the latter, but I have never understood how I was the only person to check on the former. He’d been dead for hours.

    I don’t think you’re a hero. I don’t think I’m a hero. I don’t think there’s heroism in noticing things, and I don’t think there’s anything ‘lesser’ about the people who didn’t notice her. But….so many more people need to start reaching out…I hope that this brings someone to maybe notice…not a body, but…someone who is being harassed. Or someone on the bus who is crying. Or someone who is having problems getting up a step. You saved a family from more and more pain when they wondered where their daughter and fiancee were. It is profoundly *human* to have checked on this woman. I hope that you writing this inspires someone else to just….look at another person, and ask, ‘Can I help them?’ Often you can’t, and there’s no need to. But sometimes, another person might need your help…even if it’s just so they know you *saw* them.

  130. I think people don’t stop to check on or help others more out of fear of being embarrassed than of putting themselves in danger. I stopped to check on a person who was leaning down out of their open driver’s door once by the side of the road. Turned out their car was making a noise and they were trying to figure out where it was coming from. I think the woman thought I was nuts for stopping. Maybe I even scared HER. If you ask a person alone crying on a train if they need help and they get mad at you, there’s always a chance that later on they will appreciate that someone cared enough to ask. Maybe they will do the same for someone else one day. That’s how each of us can make the world better: make the little circle around YOU better and it will have a ripple effect.

  131. This is beautiful. If I were her – I would be proud that someone as thoughtful as the writer found me. Most would turn my death into a quick story to post on Facebook or something to be interviewed about on TV. Most would turn my death into their way to pass time and be recognized. This writer turned her death into poetry.

  132. Thank you for checking on this young woman. I can’t help but wonder if the family ever looked into the medical testing, suggested here in the various comments, for their living child. The passing of this young woman could very well be the reason the younger living sibling lives to a ripe old AND it could also save future generations, her future nieces and nephews even, from similar fate.

  133. OK, thank you. I will thank you by stopping and looking around – for the unknown folks around me and for my adorable children and friends.

  134. Reblogged this on endless reverie and commented:
    Wow. This is absolutely the kindest, most beautiful thing one could do for another being. We don’t take the time to acknowledge and appreciate the living, Lucas did so for the dead.

  135. I’m not connected to this in any way. Except that having read this fine obituary AND the comments, now I am.

    Well done, Lucas. You helped. And that’s a pretty rare and wonderful thing.

  136. Because of you stopping, Lucas, and posting this blog, you turned a “crappy” obituary into many fine memories of the people who knew and loved her. More people should follow what is in their hearts when they feel like they should be doing something. You did that Lucas and gave closure to this family and to her friends and co workers. God bless.

  137. There should be more people in this world like you! Thank you for stopping and trying to help her. Amazing story. My thoughts are with her friends and family.

  138. What an amazing post, and to think by posting it that you discovered who she was, and ‘brought her home,’ in a way, for those who loved her.

    It’s true what you say about seeing something and gauging one’s response by the response of those around you. More people should stand on their own and take a risk like you did. Well done.

  139. I held it together through your beautiful story, though it moved me deeply. By the time I read her boyfriend’s comments I was crying and when I read her mother’s comments, I began to sob.
    Maybe it was just reading what those people who loved her said, but something about it just got me. I had been hoping for a happy ending, that you’d see something in the paper one day and know who she was and that would be the end of it. But hearing about who Sabrina was made everything so tragic, so sad that she couldn’t be among the people who loved her, who she loved back, and had to slip away alone, never even thinking that she’d never see them again when she pulled into that parking lot.
    Thank-you for sharing this story. Thank-you for being there that day.
    My heartfelt condolences to all who knew Sabrina.
    Rest in peace, Sabrina.

  140. What a wonderful thing you have done. So many times people just ignore others because they think the worst. Helping Hands, Happy Heart~

  141. Most amazing thing you did Lucas! And equally incredible how the close friends and family found you. Social media does good once again! It was so beautifully written that it touched many people just passing by. We all feel the guilt of not acting, or not acting soon enough in our lives. That was the connection for me. The fact that you cared enough to want to know if she was okay makes you a special person indeed. Cheers!

  142. This brought chills down my spine and flashed me back to about three years ago when I came upon a man who appeared to be sleeping in his drivers side seat.while walking my dog. I was at a dog training event that day with some friends. Seat reclined, head tilted with the sun shining on his face. Your thoughts mirrored mine exactly and a loud “inner voice” told me not to approach the car. Three times I tried to step closer and three time “no”. He is asleep. It was my friend Mike!! He said he wasn’t feeling well earlier and had a bad headache and was heading out to the car to nap before we did more dog training.I did not recognize the mottled face and he was in a different car that day. No sooner shouting was heard as we pulled him out dead. We did CPR on my dead friend full knowing his “eyes inside his eyes” were gone. For days I beat myself up that perhaps as I approached it wasn’t yet too late and he would still be here. I work in health care – I run to people in distress. But there was just silence and I walked past for a brief time. A very spirited friend told me a week later, perhaps Mike didn’t want me to save him and that is what I was feeling. The outcome of unwitnessed cardiac death can be very poor.. He was young also. Thank you for writing this and trusting your gut and holding this woman in the light with your obituary.

  143. Your care and your heart are big. Thank you for such a touching story. You have honored someone in such a wonderful way. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

  144. Alarmingly, this has happened to me too. My college roommate found a young female student slumped over in her car in the middle of the street outside our house in Bellingham, WA in 1982. Her car headlights were dim, indicating that she’d been there for a while while we watched some stupid “Blood Beach” movie inside, oblivious to her stalled car parked straddling the yellow line. He came inside and called 911 and the police arrived by the time we made it back out to the street. An ambulance showed up promptly but CPR didn’t help, and the word a few weeks later was cardiac arrest. No drugs or anything suspicious.

    She was also a lovely young lady, who will haunt my memory, laid out on the sidewalk as the paramedics tried to revive her, but everyone knowing it was too late.

    Sometimes, people just die. It’s a heck of a world. Try to enjoy life while you can.

  145. Lucas,

    You’ve touched many lives with this beautifully written accounting and obituary. Though many readers have left their words, there must be many, many others who have not. You may never know how significant an impact you’ve made on The Lives You Touch, Lucas, but touch them you have.

  146. Such an awesome thing to do man. We have all been in situations where we think we should act,intervene say something but don’t for various reasons. This occasion is different as it wasn’t right in front of you and the smallest detail that you noticed made the difference in here being found or forgotten. I’m sure this will make people have the courage to act even if everything seems ok. Very nice article given the tragic outcome.

  147. wow, your keen sense of observation is amazing…I thought this is fiction but when I read some comments I discovered this to be true. My heart goes with Jon? and Sabrina’s family…you are their angel.

  148. Oh, I can so relate to this! On February 26th, 2005, I came upon a dead man lying in an empty lot. At first, I figured he was a druggie sleeping off a bad experience, and continued to drive on. But, as his image sank into my mind, something didn’t seem right. He was dressed in athletic clothes and still had on a baseball cap. I called 911, made a U-turn and stopped. This was a busy intersection, by the way. Everybody else kept on driving by. Just as I pulled over and got out of my van, another car pulled over. The driver of that car felt compelled to stop as well. Together, we approached the man in the lot. His eyes were open. It was obvious the light had gone out of his eyes. He was gone. I learned later that he had killed himself. Why he chose that spot, I’ll never know. I don’t even know his name. I remember him every time I pass that intersection. I hurt for him and family he left behind. I have a bond with this man that I do not understand. Thank you for sharing this story.

  149. Wow. I can see why this post was so well read. This is an incredible and sad story, Lucas. Bless you for stepping outside the box to knock on the window. You have indeed placed a magnificent magnifier on this little needle-haystack moment–every person, every story matters. You have honored this woman well, my friend.

    One of my fears in life is coming across a dead person–will I freak out, ignore, or do what’s right? I don’t know. I pray it is the latter of the three.

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