Bin Laden's death: good news that could have waited

Read more: A tribute to those Irish Americans we lost on 9/11

Read more: Bin Laden death brings justice to still grieving Irish families

When I answered the phone I was expecting the worst, something seriously wrong with someone in my family or my wife's. I let the phone ring once more to try to ensure I was as awake as possible to hear what was being said.

"Hey, how ya doin? It's ..." I recognized the voice and I knew the name - a friend of mine from college. I shook my head and turned and looked at the clock again: 4:10. That's 4:10 AM.

"I'm fine. You do realize it's 4 o'clock in the morning, right?" I can't remember if he said that he'd forgotten about the time difference or not. I don't think he really cared. He was so excited he just had to call to tell me, "Osama bin Laden is dead."

Obviously, that's good news, but I don't think I conveyed that to my friend. There's no doubt I wasn't as excited as he was and the phone call finished up after two minutes.

As I hung up the phone, I became aware that not only was my wife awake, but so were the children. I told my wife who was on the phone and what he had to say. It was pitch black, but I didn't need to see her face to know how she was looking at me.

After reassuring the children that all was well, we settled down to resume our sleep. For me, however, sleep was elusive. At 5:00 I gave up, figuring the alarm would be going off in under an hour anyway.

I put the television and computer on and started to feel it, the satisfaction that Osama had been killed by American forces and didn't die in his sleep as an old man. It is really good news, although I'd have been more excited if it had come in May 2002.

At around 5:30 I started to feel bad. I still wasn't feeling as excited or as joyous as those gathered outside the White House or in New York, but then again I noticed that most of those appeared to be college students who would think nothing of blowing off a class or two to make up for lost sleep. Still I was wondering if I should have been chirpier when my friend called to convey the news.

Then another fact dawned on me: today is a national holiday in Ireland. I didn't need to get up at 6:00 after all. The rest of the family won't be waking for hours.

Grrr. Bin Laden's death is good news, but it's good news that could have waited. Bad news can't wait, but good news can be patient. It would have felt just as good at 8am as it did at 4.

Read more: A tribute to those Irish Americans we lost on 9/11

Read more: Bin Laden death brings justice to still grieving Irish families

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