*Notification*Look Around…Check Out Reality

Pierce Kennedy Corcoran, born August 4th, 1996 was a son, grandson, baby brother and friend to so many.

It’s hard to sum Pierce up in a post like this. He was funny, sweet, athletic–so many things. He was quiet, but he would really get your attention when he spoke up unexpectedly. He had a good sense of humor and never took anything too seriously. He would often let me know that I was taking things too seriously; as the oldest sister, I do have the tendency to do that.

In fact, on the night of Christmas Eve, right before this picture was taken, Pierce did something funny. He came up to me, pointed at my shirt and said,”Hey, you’ve got some coffee right there.”

Even though I hadn’t touched coffee at all that night, I looked and fell for it. And he got me, laughing and getting my nose.

“PIERCE!” I’d shouted, shoving him a little bit. And he had just laughed, good naturedly. Pierce could be a prankster. He and my brother Connor used to do this thing where they would chase my dad up the stairs; my dad has this thing with being chased and they knew that.

It was always so funny to see dad inch towards the stairs, looking over his shoulder, and then see Pierce and Connor launch themselves off of the couch and run after him, screaming and pursuing him up the stairs.

I will never get to see that again. I will never get to hear the laughter of both my brothers, together, mingling with my dad’s laughing.

I will never get to just hang out with Pierce, doing whatever, again.

I remember one day in particular, back in 2017–we made a day of it and just hung out together. We drove around and went to the Knoxville Art Museum downtown, taking funny pictures of ourselves with the art before walking down to Knoxville Chocolate Company and getting some chocolate, which we took up in the Sunsphere. Pierce had also shown me where “The Bluffs” were, a little known trail that goes to a cliff that overlooks all of downtown Knoxville. We had gone to KBrew and sampled some coffee. We had just had fun. I will miss those times of just hanging out with Pierce; we had all gotten very busy with work and just life in general.

What I loved about Pierce though..was that, no matter how busy he was, he had time to talk to me. He would just listen. And whenever I was out walking in my neighborhood and he happened to be driving by, he would honk at me and I would call him, asking where he was going. On Saturday, December 29th, Pierce held down on his horn as he drove by my husband Tim and I on our walk and we waved back. I remember telling my husband that I should call Pierce..but for whatever reason, that day, I didn’t. I hate that I didn’t call him and tell him I love him.

I love this picture. It’s one of my favorites. We were all in Savannah, Georgia for a cousin’s wedding and I had been telling Pierce nonstop about this ice cream place called Leopold’s. “It’s one of the top five ice cream parlors in the world,” I’d stressed to him.

Pierce, normally not one to stray from his healthy routines, insisted that we had to go so he could try it too. We waited in a long line and picked out our flavors. Pierce even put up with my Instagram obsessed behavior of documenting even the simplest of things, like an ice cream cone. That behavior seems silly to me now.

I miss my brother’s smile. In our phone obsessed culture, we often take pictures of things and people and we forget to just really look at them and enjoy them. We try so hard to document a life that looks “perfect” and forget to enjoy all of life’s imperfections and just be happy. I felt so much guilt over this in the days after Pierce’s passing. While I had been trying so hard to cultivate a “picture perfect” life, I had forgotten to enjoy what was right in front of me: my family and the people I love.

One of my favorite pictures from Pierce’s Instagram is this one. It simply says: *Notification* Look around…check out reality.

I wanted to share this post because it is close to my heart. Social media is not everything. Appreciate what you have. Look up from your phones and at the ones you love. You will find that, one day, they will be gone. While it is good to take pictures and have fun…stop and think about why you’re doing it.

Are you doing it to impress other people?

Or are you doing it because you want to capture a memory that’s dear to you?

When I look back at my Instagram from the last year or so, all I feel is sadness and emptiness. It’s just a lot of pictures of me, doing things that I thought were interesting. It doesn’t show the people I love. It doesn’t show a reality, it shows small snippets and moments from my day, the ones I thought might make me seem the most “perfect”.

Check out reality. Love on your family around you. Don’t care what other people think and don’t set out to impress them.

This was very hard for me to write, but I felt like it might help someone else. Stay present and don’t get worked up about the unimportant things in this life.


2 Replies to “*Notification*Look Around…Check Out Reality”

  1. Avery, this is beautiful and beautifully written. If everyone could just understand how important your message is. I am afraid we don’t realize this until it is sometimes too late. I am praying for all of you. Keep sharing your message and make Pierce’s life count for good. Practice what you have written and it will make your life count for good. If it touches someone else you will have done a great service to all it touches. God bless you and may He use you to touch people’s lives.


  2. The last picture he looks so much like your dad. This I know has to be so hard for the whole family. I worked for Sherry and i knew your dad. My granddaughter lived 2 doors from you all . This really upset her. I have been praying for the whole family and his girlfriend.

    Liked by 1 person

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