Vail Daily letter: Franciose for coroner

Dear Sue Franciose,

Many times, when I think of my late husband, Russ, I think of your many kindnesses to me when he died so suddenly on the mountain near Vail. The frame of dried wildflowers you sent from the meadow in which Russ died — and the note you wrote with it — is sitting on my desk as a reminder of the impactful things that came into my life after I lost Russ.

We met at the worst possible moment under extremely stressful and shocking conditions — but you made a horrible situation much more manageable through your humanity, directness and professionalism. The fact that you called me with the autopsy results rather than have me receive a clinical, impersonal document in the mail still actually makes me smile. I consider myself very fortunate to have had a caring, thoughtful medical professional help me wade through the “why?”

In fact, you called me several times during the months following Russ’s death to check on me and ask how I was managing (lots of good therapy, great friends and family!).

You also were able to assure me that there probably was nothing we could have done to prevent what happened — and that he could have been home alone in the shower or driving a car when this disaster struck. It gives me great comfort to know he was in a place he loved with people he loved doing what he loved.

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I would never wish this experience on anyone (and it is way beyond our control), but I do want you to be the person someone first sees when faced with the incomprehensible.

Jan McDaniel

Prior Lake, Minn.

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