Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/24/12

It's hard to lose a loved one.

I have been lucky.  The closest relatives I have ever lost were people I didn't know very well, either because I never had a chance to see them or because they were already mentally fading by the time I was old enough to have many fond memories of them.

The closest event I can think of was Steve Sabol's passing.  A friend of mine was stunned at how much it meant to me- after all, I never knew Steve personally.  However, he was still a big part of my childhood, my version of Walt Disney.

I had been at work, having a great day, when I saw the news.  I was going to text my friend and tell him I was done for the day, but when I saw the ESPN text message my whole attitude changed, and the "I'm on my way" never got sent.

My grief didn't even come close to the grief of my stepmom when she lost her parents (her mom passed about six weeks after her dad).  I can't recall seeing her cry outside of her mom's funeral, but on that day she did.

Torrey Smith lost his brother.  He played admirably under the circumstances, with low sleep and some moments where he was clearly having emotional issues on the sideline.  He lost his brother, which would be a huge emotional blow to anyone.  Putting up six catches for 127 yards and two TDs in spite of that is simply amazing.

Next week's matchup is against the Browns, who are thin at corner.  Smith won't be focused in meetings or practices, and he won't understand the game plan.  Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones can fill in for him; the defense is probably going to dominate the young offense of the Browns anyway.

He needs this time to grieve.  We've heard both Ben Roethlisberger and Kevin Kolb say they would miss games for the birth of their child.  This type of event takes priority just as much as a birth, perhaps even more so.  A lack of focus could even up hurting his team, or worse, getting him hurt.

Our thoughts and prayers need to be with him in his time of loss.  May he come through this dark time unharmed and once again whole.



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