My Uncle Allen

I am 20 yrs. old and in the past year I have gained what I feel is too much experience. I not only lost my Grandmother to cancer; I lost my uncle on the fatal Alaska Airlines Flight 261. It was too much and I couldn’t breathe. At the time of my Uncle’s death he was building a new life for himself and family. He had just accepted a new job in San Francisco and life looked great for him. He was so excited!

I remember the month prior, I had visited him in Chicago and just before I left he told me that I could accomplish anything and that he was so proud of me.

It was the first time in my life that he had treated me like an adult. He was so talented. Not only was he a terrific artist, but a great guitar player as well. Uncle Allen had a huge heart and wanted to help out anyone he could.

When he died on that flight he was catching it back to San Francisco, so he could then fly out to see my grandmother in Chicago. She was very sick and in a coma. He would call the hospital everyday to check on her. I just thank God that she was in that coma when he died. She would not have been able to handle it. Uncle Allen died on January 31st 2000 and my grandmother passed on March 8th 2000. She never knew that her son died. When our family started to mourn for the death of my Uncle, we had to stop and mourn for my grandmother.

I feel that I have lost a very vital part of me and I can never get that back. All I can do is live each day at a time. Uncle Allen if you hear this: I love and miss you so much… take care of grandma.

– Julie Wilhite lost her Uncle, Allen Friedmann, 47, aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 261

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