Josh Gad praised his family friend for giving a heart-breaking rendition of his son’s poetry after the teen was killed in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.
The actor, who previously revealed he had a close family friend who lost a child in the mass shooting, took to Twitter on Wednesday after the victim’s dad Max Schachter read the poem called “Life is Like a Rollercoaster” at the televised town hall.
“Watching our family friend #maxschachter read his son Alex’s poem tonight is almost too much for me to bear,” the “Frozen” star, 36, wrote. “Max, we are all with you. We love you. Your strength is incredible. Your son’s poetry is light in this darkness. #alexschachter”
Max Schachter took the stage on Wednesday night revealing that Alex had no idea the poem would be applied to his own life cut too short. He also shared that his other son, Alex’s brother, read the free verse poem at his funeral.
“Life is like a roller coaster/it has some ups and down/sometimes you can take it slow or very fast/ it may be hard to breathe at times/but you have to push yourself and keep going,” the poem began.
“Your bar is your safety/it’s like your family and friends/You hold on tight and you don’t let go/But sometimes you might throw your hands up/Because your friends and family will always be with you,” the poem continued.
“Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times/ it may be too much for you at times/the twists, the turns, the upside downs/But you get back up/you keep chugging along/ eventually it comes to a stop/you won’t know when or how/but you will know that’ll be the time to get off and start anew/Life is like a roller coaster.”
Max Schachter told the crowd and viewers that his son Alex loved rollercoasters and that he “had no idea his poem would become his future.”
The grieving father decided to read it because he wanted everyone to hear his late son’s words.
Just hours after the shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, killing 17, Gad wrote on Twitter that he was “so angry.”
Memorials for Florida high school massacre
“I’m putting my phone down because we are debating sensible gun laws again. A child of one of our friend’s has a bullet in his chest & is critical condition because a 19 year old had access to a military weapon,” he wrote. “Pretend it’s normal. It’s not.”
He later posted the news that his friend’s son passed away, calling “our leaders worthless.”
“My grief for this family and the many others knows no bounds,” he wrote. “I’m so sorry this happened. I’m so sorry our leaders are worthless. I’m so sorry we are bound to repeat this again.”
Gad is from Hollywood, Fla., which is about 30 miles from where the massacre occurred.