When my Dad died from lung cancer back in 1991, most of the people I saw in the week leading up to his funeral were sympathetic and truly tried to help a heartbroken 25-year-old deal with the loss of his father.

I do, however, remember a couple of folks who felt the need to mention the fact dad was a heavy smoker for most of his life.

Seven years later, lung cancer took my mom, and it happened again. Most people tried to ease my pain, but a few couldn’t resist the urge to remind anyone who would listen that mom smoked right up to the end.

When my niece, Jordan, died in a car wreck 10 years ago at the age of 19, there was an outpouring of love from family, friends and the community where she had spent the last few years of her life.

There were also plenty of people quick to question why Jordan wasn’t wearing a seatbelt that horrible night.

When my nephew, Jared, took his own life at the age of 17 almost seven years ago, family gathered and mourned and folks made sure the heartbroken and confused classmates he left behind were wrapped up in an amazing display of love and understanding.

And, you guessed it, a couple of folks questioned how someone so young could be struggling so much. And why didn’t someone know?

When I heard about the tragic death of 11-year-old Daisy Grace Lynn George of Hallsville this past Saturday, I made the mistake of looking at the comments on Facebook connected to the story published by the News-Journal.

I wish I hadn’t.

Mixed in with the genuine expressions of grief, sadness and concern for the family were comments from what I can only assume to be perfect people.

People who never smoked or had any other bad habits, so they’ll obviously live forever.

People who have never forgotten to buckle up or maybe unbuckled for a few seconds to reach in the backseat for something.

People who have never had a bad day that turned into several bad days.

People who would never make a mistake with a firearm because, well, they are perfect.

I don’t envy those perfect people. In fact, I pity them.

I pity them, because those perfect people lack what I think is one of our greatest gifts — the ability to see someone hurting and to feel and maybe even absorb a little of their pain.

I’ll never understand how someone can read about a child dying at the hands of her own father in a tragic accident, and the first thought is to make sure everyone knows it would never happen to them because they are experts in gun safety.

I quit reading when another person decided to use the story to share his thoughts on gun control.

Here’s what we know. An 11-year-old child went hunting with her dad, and a terrible accident happened. The child is gone, and the dad, the family and an entire community will never be the same.

That’s all most of the good people in East Texas need to know to get them to spring into action and try to find some way to make sure Daisy’s friends and family know they are not alone in their grief.

Unfortunately, some of the perfect people out there would rather pile on and add to the pain.

I honestly hope these people never experience tragedy.

They just might find out us non-perfect folks are too busy helping each other to even give them the time of day.

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— Jack Stallard is sports editor of the News-Journal. Email: jstallard@news-journal.com; follow on Twitter @lnjsports

Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.