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Letters to John #2: When a Camp Staff Member is Critically Injured

August 2nd, 2008 · No Comments · Crisis Response, John Murphy

Reposted from my the guest book entry at:

Camp staff member, John Murphy, fell from a 4th story window (not at camp) in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 19 2008. We know that John and his dear friend (also a staff member) had gone to bed and John must have gotten hot in the night and tried to open a window that was stuck and he lost his footing. He is in a coma and very critical condition due to the severe head trauma. Updates can be found in the journal at this site.

John MurphySATURDAY, AUGUST 02, 2008 01:22 AM, CDT


We made it through another week at camp without you – barely. Everyone at camp has settled into a routine again, trying to suppress the sadness and confusion of your accident. We all live for the updates your family posts every day and delight in the small miracles and pray for your healing and your family’s strength.

The college students at camp are starting to sort out their classes for the fall and the realization is setting in that you are not going back to school this semester. While that brings-up a whole new set of feelings for everyone, they are turning to each other, forming new bonds and connections of support, and learning the life-skill that suppressing stress is unhealthy. I have thought of the way we try to deal with this as a game of ‘Emotional Wack-A-Mole’. Our loss of you in our lives has been hard to cope with, sometimes unbearable. When that feeling pops up, the mallet comes out and knocks it down but it springs up again somewhere else . . In a different shape . . . Disguised. . . – could be in the form of exhaustion, poor appetite, malaise, lack of motivation, inability to study, or just the feeling that something is not quite right.

We all press on – through the flood and through the fire – drawing strength from your amazing family and your valiant fight.

Jennifer Selke
Berkeley, CA
United States

Additional John Murphy links:
John’s “thanks for letting me work at camp” video
John in the 2007 Camp Dance Off
Letters to John #1: July 23, 2008
Letters to John #2: August 2, 2008
Letters to John #3: August 9, 2008
Letters to John #4: August 29, 2008