It is Not My Grief to Own

Early this morning, I got an email from a dear friend. A friend I met at my first year at UCSB, who I have lived with twice. Once in college, and once probably ten years later, after we were working in the big, real, world. Since college, there have been four of us who have remained very close to each other – it is amazing how times can change and things in your life can change, but there are people who stay with you and who you stay with because you love them so very much. She is one of these people, who I love like a sister, who I care about even when we have not spoken in awhile, who I can laugh with easily and who can make me laugh, too. I’ve learned with these four friends that sometimes, when you don’t know what to say, silence is as good as spoken word.

My friend wrote to let us know that her youngest brother, David, had died this morning in a moped accident. He was 29, and he died on his mother’s birthday. His friend, who had been on another moped was also seriously injured. A suspect is in custody, and she had fled the scene originally, but was followed by a witness.

This was a punch to the gut. My eyes filled with tears and I yelled out “NOOOOoooooo,” and my guy wondered what in the world had happened, as he thought I was looking up the hours for Goodwill so we could drop off our table. But no, in one innocent moment, just checking email, everything changed.

I am left wondering why, why would such a wonderful person be taken from us? Why one moment was he here and the next gone? How is it someone near my own age can be gone, in a second? As I thought of my friend, I realized that it could have been any of us, or any of our siblings that was gone. In one second, I was jarred by how very fragile and precious life is.

I emailed her back immediately, and my first words were that I didn’t know what to say. We talked this evening and it was good to hear her voice. She told me what she could, what she had words for. And we sat in silence.

This kind of grief is immeasurable, and even though I know her well, it is frustrating that I can not do anything to make this better. I can not take this hurt away. I can listen. I can be there in silence. I can cry with her, and let her know that I am here. All the time, any time, I am here. I know that this grief is not mine. It is confusing and it is consuming. There is a family that has suffered beyond what I can comprehend.

So tonight I ask for peace for each of them. And I send my love. This is not about me, for certain, but it has touched my heart and soul, and left me hurting for people I care so very much about.