(Kathleen Shannon)

This may be a difficult way to say, “Happy Labor Day” and introduce an upcoming series of content, but here goes.

When Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello died Aug. 23, my heart — like everyone else’s — sank.

Just the initial reports made me shiver: The worst part of the News Life is having tragic and important stories foisted upon you by the cruelty of human existence.

“You must cover this,” fate bellows.

But how and when and what way?

On that night, I was instantly relieved that NonDoc remained eight days from anticipated launch.

But, from a news perspective, I was also saddened that Mark Costello would not get to tell his own full story, politically or otherwise. I had long sensed he had a compelling one, a feeling that seems almost presumptuous or wrong to put into text now. But I can prove it.

This week, NonDoc presents a series on “labor issues” spearheaded by contributing reporter Joshua M. Jones.

Yes, we had planned this series owing to Labor Day, and yes we had started working on it before the Costello family’s tragedy.

When he saw reports of Mr. Costello’s death, Jones had been preparing to call the commissioner’s office for an interview the very next morning. It was, he said, surreal.

Over the past two weeks, we have spoken to several people who knew Mr. Costello, and I am convinced our content for this series is far less complete for the Commissioner’s absence.

He was said to be an enjoyable man — respectable, even if you disagreed with him. Powerful folks pondered his gubernatorial potential.

So how did we treat this whole situation? Did we do it right? Did we leave questions unanswered? Did we make the wrong call not canceling the series altogether?

Starting Tuesday, you can judge that for yourself.

Until then, please enjoy time with your loved ones and have a pleasant day off, if you have one.

It’s hard to have too many holidays.