Opinion: An Open Letter to the Family and Friends of Nick Hein

Compassion should reign, and mostly does, following tragic death of the local teenager.

Dear Friends and Family of Nick Hein,

I would like to address some of the heartless and critical words which were made by people who are the minority within Kings Park.  Most people here in our town are heartbroken by both the loss of such a young life and the ugliness you and your families were exposed to. I heard many in our town express their shock that anyone would offer comments that were anything but caring and compassionate.

Your loss is our loss as a community. Anytime a family in Kings Park is hurting the hurt is felt by all.  Having lived in this town my whole life I have witnessed many tragedies that have befallen families.  When such tragedies hit, the community rallies - to bring food to those without, clothes and money to those who are in need, prayers for those who are hurting. This is not a necessarily religiously motivated response but rather a human response by people who genuinely care for each other.

Dr. Agruso's decision to open the high school so that you might be together is an example of compassion and care that represents how we respond to tragedy here in Kings Park.  Various churches and community groups have opened their doors, offering counseling for those in need. When you gathered for your candlelight vigil, those who passed were most probably saying a prayer for your friend and you.  

Please know that I, and most others here in Kings Park, will continue to pray and keep you and the Hein family in our thoughts.  Your community recognizes and grieves your loss and hopes that you find some peace.

“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”..The Dalai Lama


Denise Creighton

George McKnight January 10, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Well said, Denise.....
Lisa January 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Denise, thanks for this beautiful response. We are all a part of this community and greive the tradgic loss of life as well as others that have passed. We are so proud to be a resident of this town and to see how we come together, weather here now, or in the past, Kings Park is our home.
lisa costello January 10, 2012 at 04:35 PM
thank-you denise.
Joanne January 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Well said Denise, Nick was my neighbor and my sons friend. I can say that the Hein Family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they have received from the community. Kings Park has always had a special way of caring for their own!
Margaret Gurlides January 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Thank you for these beautiful words Denise, tears are in my eyes. God Bless the families. K.P.Pride!
john nau January 10, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I must also say well said and I am so glad to see this. I was one of the people who complained about the unbelievable statements made by some people on here. I have a daughter and her friends who were very close with him and this is a terrible situation for all effected. This town is a small town and a great one when it comes to being compasionate. All thoughts are with the families and friends. John
Donna B January 10, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Beautifully said Denise. Thank you for speaking up for the vast majority of our community! To Nick's family and friends, I send my heartfelt condolences and the wish that you may find peace.
Denise DeGori January 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Thank you Denise, for putting into words what everyone is feeling in their hearts!
kptree January 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM
This is a lovely piece. From all accounts- Newsday, Smithtown Radio, the Patch- Nick Hein was a great kid with lots of interests whose memory should be honored. I hope that good thoughts and words are being sent to the Byrne family as well who have suffered a lot of misfortune lately. I want to suggest that in Nick's name an effort be made to teach and update young Kings Parkers about dirt bike safety. It would be great if the high school could be opened for a workshop that educates kids about how to modify their bikes for safety and defensive driving. Local mechanics/enthusiasts could be on hand to help mount headlights/reflectors/safety gear. Judging from the news stories and pictures of Nick's life, he was a great enthusiast of the sport- it would be great if the community helped others to do safely what he loved.
angela January 11, 2012 at 01:13 AM
My prayers go out to Nick and his family. I also pray for the Bynre family who also must live with this horrible accident for the rest of there lives. Both families are truly hurting. Loosing a child is the worst thing that could happen to any parent, and taking one by accident is just as bad. May God Bless all of You.
Dusti Muraca January 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I am so sorry for the family and friends of Nick...My condolences are with you all...Anyone leaving these mean comments should be ashamed of themselves...The family is going through so much grief right now....Such people are just ignorant....May Nick Rest in Peace.....Everyone is praying for you all....
new guy January 11, 2012 at 02:25 AM
well said mrs. creighton. i think i logged on to patch a day after the accident and saw that all "comments were removed" from this story. i didnt get a chance to read the comments but i remember thinking this cant be good when every comment was removed. kings park is a great town filled with great people and time after time we all stick together (prob because most of us are related to each other some way) when things get rough. prayers for both familys.
Denise Creighton January 11, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Kp resident, I would be grateful that I missed those comments..However, it is obvious from your response and the others that the Kings Park spirit of genuine care for one another is alive and well. Please continue to keep Nick and Danny in your prayers. Tomorrow there will be many hurting kids in our town...Let's treat all of them with kindness...tomorrow and each day thereafter. RIP Nick. Our thoughts are with your friends, your family and the Byrne Family.
Carol Clancy January 11, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Thank you Denise for putting what we are feeling into such eloquent words. My and my family's prayers go out to the Hein and Bryne families that peace will come to them.
Kathleen Uhl January 11, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Thank you Mrs. Creighton for standing up & speaking to those who can be so thoughtless. I am grateful that I did not see those comments as well and we should pray for those who stated them as they obviously do not know the hurt their words can cause. I am proud to be part of such a caring & wonderful community. We are all family to each other here & I find it so touching that we all gather to support the brothers & sisters that are hurting today. May God be with the Hein family & the Byrne family in grieving & trying to cope with their unbelievable pain. KNOW THAT WE ARE ALL WITH YOU TODAY & ALWAYS.
rob carey January 11, 2012 at 03:27 PM
In the future, it really is best for everyone to ignore the comments of those people who have an ugly side to them, and who take advantage of the anonymous nature of the internet to write their ugly thoughts. Such a person would never make those comments if we knew their names. Unfortunately, the internet has given the few truly ugly people in our society a forum to communicate without having to worry about ramifications. Our only recourse is to ignore their venom. These damaged souls are not worth anyone's time.
Karen Cannone January 11, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Yes, be grateful you missed reading the comments. I was amazed by them. Thank you Mrs. Creighton for your comments. They were spot on. Both families have suffered a tremendous loss and my thoughts and prayers go out to both families.
Frank Mercuri January 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Well said Denise, The loss of Nicholas was a shock to all of us at Father Seyfried Council Knights of Columbus in KP. The name Hein rang a bell of a Hein who was one of our Past grand Knights. But found that there was no relation. But the shock was to find that Nicholas was the grand son of a Brother knight and dear friend, our past Financial Secretary Don Jarka who past away three years ago. He would come to my house and talk after he did his baby sitting. Our sympathy goes to Marge Jarka and to the family who lost so much so soon. Ugliness in commentary is a sign of being uncaring thinking the coment is an intellectual answer to a tradgey. This tradgedy brought to mind one our family had been faced with when my son had overturned his car some years ago not to far away on Old Ommack road 100 feet from the RR tracks. Thank God he was not injured seriously It is not easy when a call is made regarding a child's accident. Who is at fault rests with God to make that determination not some heartless childish commentors. My prayers not only go to the Hein family but also all who were victims of this tragedy. Denise said it well we are a community who cares for its neighbors because Kings Parkers are family. Let's also pray to those commentors that one day they will grow up and write with compassion rather than venom.
Frank Mercuri January 11, 2012 at 04:56 PM
As a Post Script, I would like to add my admiration of our youth. The hundreds who turened out to pay their respects to a friend and his family is a sign that our youth will grow to be the good citizens of Kings Park. They cared and shared. The school district showed compassion by putting aside daily business and allowing the students to pay their last respects.
Donna D January 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM
My heart and prayers are with the family. Only time will somehow ease the pain. Our family lost Ray Ray not so long ago and unless you walk in those shoes you cannot comprehend the lost. There should be no blame but only prayers for both families who are suffering so very much now.
Peggy Gilmartin January 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Well said Denise....I was sickened by some of the venomous comments. Today's mass was a beautiful tribute to Nick. The class of 2012 should be proud of themselves for the outpouring of love and respect they shared with Nick's family. My nephew was a pallbearer, and I admire him and his friends for their strength during this difficult time in their life. The KP Community came out in full force for one of their own. The family was overwhelmed by the support....neighbors and friends preparing her house for guests, deliveries of food, drinks, ice, flowers, fruit baskets, monetary donations, and more. I am proud to be a part of this community, and I will continue to pray for Nick's family just as all of KP will do.


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