Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Darkness of Senseless Death

Nothing good ever comes from the phone ringing after midnight.

The week before Christmas, our phone rang and dread filled my veins. The near hysterical voice on the other end of the line informed me that a friend’s son had been killed in a motorcycle accident. To make matters worse, this was her only son, her only child, with whom she was very close. We are also friends with other members of the family and their suffering has been very difficult. I have struggled with feelings of helplessness as I watch and can do nothing to ease their pain. Additionally, his best friend killed in the accident.

Could it get worse than this? Never ask that question.

It seems there were quite a few witnesses to the accident, since the two were riding with a group. The investigation into the accident is not complete; however, it looks as if it may not have been quite so much an accident as poor judgment made with malicious intent. Apparently there was a verbal altercation which ended in a high speed chase and the decision to put a very large obstacle in the path of these two young men, making it impossible for them to stop in time to avoid the collision.

I cannot imagine the pain that our friends feel. I have children and when I think of losing either of them, my heart leaps with panic. I push the thoughts swiftly from my mind in order to avoid a deeper, consuming fear. To deal with those emotions in reality – the loss, the pain, the raw emptiness – I can only imagine would be unbearable.

Yet, every one of them gets up each morning and pushes on. The mother has managed to push through each day since her loss with dignity. Her heart continues to break, I am sure, yet she has not given up. She understands how much her son loved life and to give up would be an insult to his memory. I admire her strength and her tenacity. I pray that she has a strong support system for the times when she feels weak and wishes to withdraw. I hope that she has close relationships with those who will be willing to smile with her and even laugh when others might find it “inappropriate.” My heart goes out to her with a wish that she be able to find peace of mind, joy in the celebration of her son’s life, and the ability to recover the beauty of her own existence.

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