What Would You Have Done?

Say you have a really close friend at work.  And say you know that she/he is doing something away from the office that you know is wrong (but not illegal) and that your friend’s spouse and children would be terribly hurt if they ever found out about it.  Your good friend unexpectedly dies in a way that’s connected to the hurtful activity, but the truth about your friend’s activity and death is covered up and it never comes out.  And the issue goes away.  For a while.

Fast forward about 30 years.  One of your friend’s children contacts you out of the blue.  The details regarding the parent’s death have never added up in the child’s mind and the child has questions that have been bothering him for a lifetime.  Do you level with an adult who has been grappling with these questions all of his life…or do you feign ignorance and let him continue an anguished quest for answers?

This is what Michael Hainey faced as he attempted to figure out what happened to his father.  He chronicles the story powerfully and eloquently in his new book, After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story, a book I couldn’t put down.   I conducted the interview yesterday, Monday, and it airs tonight.  I hope you tune in. Click here to read an excerpt from the book and watch a web-exclusive conversation between Hainey and me.

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  • Tom

    PLEASE MAKE THIS CORRECTION: It’s “between Hainey and me” not “between Hainey and I.” Between is a preposition that takes an object. Objects are in the objective case.

  • http://www.wttw.com/chicagotonight Phil Ponce

    Thanks, Tom!

  • Tom

    Thank you! Feel free to delete this thread. BTW, I love love love your show.