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FROM THE EDITOR: Sympathies to those who have to bury a child

No parent should ever have to bury their child.

That is what was running through my mind as I was writing the front page story about the mysterious death of Margay Edwards.

No parent should ever have to bury their child. That’s not the way this world is supposed to work.

While reading the report, my mind kept drifting to the pain her father, Jeff Edwards, must be experiencing. It is a pain so deep, so personal, I dare not try to wrap my head around that suffering.

I have three children myself: a 22-year-old son, a 20-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old daughter. When I heard the autopsy reports on Margay were complete and there were no real answers to what happened forthcoming for her family, I thought about if something similar happened to one of mine. That was truly a futile endeavor.

When I was 14 my mom passed from a long-time illness. The pain was devastating. Even though she was not that old, 49, her parents had already passed away. That is the supposed to be the nature of things. Children grieve the loss of a parent, a spouse grieves the loss of a partner, and friend grieves the loss of a friend.

But not a parent grieving the loss of a child, no matter how old that child is at the time.

As 2014 comes to close, the Margay story reminds me of two close friends who have had to bury older children. One was a 34-year-old special needs man who passed in October, the other was a 64-year-old man who died suddenly of an unknown condition in July.

Both left behind a set of parents whose pain cut deep.

I spent some time with my friend of that older child over the weekend. I could see the pain in his eyes as he talked about his son. He said it was harder on his wife, and he didn’t know at the time if she would get through it, but she has. I could see that even though my friend and wife are in their 80’s, it didn’t make the loss any easier to deal with.

“You’re not supposed to bury your kids,” he told me.

But in the case of Margay’s family, I would imagine the hardest part is the lack of knowing what happened. Her father said as much in the article, “I’m not sure any result was going to bring a sense of closure,” Jeff Edwards told a California newspaper. “While we appreciate (the police) efforts, it’s just something that’s not going to change the fact that Margay’s not coming home.”

My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Edwards and his family during this difficult time.

ON TO 2015

While I am writing this article on Wednesday because we are closed Thursday, the county will be on the verge of big changes when you read this. Monday is the first County Commission meeting and decisions will be made regarding the defunct Pahrump Town Board.

As discussed in Lillian Browne’s front-page story about Commissioner Donna Cox’s comments that some decisions have been made, the Commission will actually make those decisions Monday. In an open meeting. Because that’s how government works. In open meetings. Because that’s the law.

As Browne reports, the Commission will sit as the governing body of the town of Pahrump to discuss and take possible action on a series of issues including the continued Pahrump Town Manager position, the processing of any town claims, warrants and related financial matters, legal services for the town of Pahrump and directions to staff regarding Pahrump town advisory boards.

And that’s only a small part of the Commission’s agenda. I feel another six-hour-plus meeting. Now that the Commission will be handling Pahrump town business, I wonder if long meetings will be the new normal.

Monday will also be the changing of the guard at the Nye County Sheriff, district attorney, assessor and public administrator offices as Sharon Wehrly, Angela Bello, Sheree Stringer and Robin Dorand-Rudolf take over. Wehrly is coming over from the district attorney’s office, Bello is a Las Vegas-based attorney and a newcomer, and Stringer comes from within the assessor’s office. Dorand-Rudolf was deputy public administrator for the past eight years.

One of the big issues we will be watching closely at the newspaper is the continuing budget issues at the county and school district. The county is facing a $2 million or more budget deficit, and the school district is needing to find $17 million for capital improvement projects.

These budget woes did not make our list of top 10 stories of 2014 in Wednesday’s paper, but they could have easily been included. I love numbers and government filings, but I haven’t had a chance to dig into either of these issues yet since arriving in October in the middle of election season. That was enough.

There will be plenty to write about in 2015. We want to tell all the stories: the good, the bad and the hard ones.

Arnold M. Knightly is the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times and the Tonopah Times-Bonanza & Goldfield News.

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