SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — For many, losing a sibling can also mean losing the traditions and past times you both enjoyed, but there’s a Siouxland man who has instead found a way to keep his brother’s spirit alive behind the wheel of a mustang. You’ll meet him on this week’s edition of Siouxland Stories.
The ongoing supply chain issues nationwide almost prevent Douglas Collins from fulfilling his year tradition, a Mustang ride on the anniversary of his brother’s death.
“Usually it’s a pretty easy process. A lot of places I work with just didn’t have anything available, but Jensen Motors stepped in and they were willing to loan me a car for the day for this purpose,” said Douglas Collins.
That purpose is to channel a more positive way to grieve his loss and feel connected at the same time.
“In order to remember him, I do something that he would have done. He owned four Mustangs over the years. So, the idea is that instead of letting things drop, I’m not celebrating his death. I’m continuing him and doing something he would have liked,” Collins said.
In a way, Doug is using what he calls a touchstone, a tangible object that instantly reminds him of something or someone. He is putting into practice what he preached during his days as a pastor.
“When I talk to people about touchstones, obviously, a Mustang is a pretty big touchstone,” said Collins. “You do that, you let it be positive, you let it be attached to memories. Those things are all very good for people to do.”
This is something he has done for nine years now in order to honor his brother.
“He liked Mustangs, and we were both car people. He always had a fast car, there was no two ways around it. His great delight was to drive around in them and find people who thought they were faster, and work that out,” Collins said with a chuckle.
Celebrating what brought joy to brother, a man, who had an exciting career.
“He had the opportunity to have a very interesting life. As I am, he was an ordained minister. He got the opportunity to work for a school overseas and then he was the accounting officer for the embassy in Lagos, Nigeria at the time that he died. As I’m driving along, I think about him, and those things come up. So, it’s good to celebrate those things,” Collins said.
Doug said he encourages others who are grieving tonight to maybe find peace through something similar.
“Pick what you’re comfortable with. Don’t let anybody push you into anything and that includes the grieving time period. There were people early on who gave me a hard time like it was an excuse for me to go drive a Mustang. I don’t need an excuse; I can go anytime I want,” Collins said. “Some people will not understand where you are, that’s okay. It’s not their grieving process. You take the time you need and do what you need to do to walk through that.”