Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes You Just Won't Be Able To Go

My dad has about a hundred cousins, and when I say “about” I actually mean “more than.” His parents were one of nine and eleven, respectively, and each of those children had at least five children. So I think it’s safe to say my family on that side is pretty effing big and I don’t know most of them. But I know a few. And one of them was my dad’s best friend growing up, as well as his best man at my parents' wedding. This cousin eventually had two daughters, both older than me; I hung out with them a few times at weddings and family reunions, and would take in family updates passed to me through my mother from my aunt.

This weekend, though, I got a call from my dad, telling me the younger of the two, the thirty year-old, was killed in a car accident.  I don’t know if it’s because of the rarity of girls in my family that I feel closer to these sisters than maybe I should, or if I welcome people into my heart more readily, or if it’s just totally normal to feel this way, but I feel her loss. And my heart breaks for her daughter, who was in the car with her. My family is complicated, and she was complicated, and Lord knows this little girl's five year-old life was complicated, but tragedy is not made more or less by fault, or intention. It just is.

And I can’t go. I have a show, and the funeral is in Jasper, and I can’t go. So on Thursday afternoon I will be in Maryland, but my heart and thoughts and prayers will be in Georgia.  When my mom and I were still trying to figure out a way to get me down there, just for the day, just for the funeral, she told me, “You’re at the age now where these things are going to start happening more often, and sometimes you just won’t be able to go.”  I hate how true that is.

There is no moral, there is no point, there is nothing new to learn about loss except how it washes over you differently every time.  I want to ask you, in a world full of people begging you to care, to take a moment and send a prayer or good thoughts to this little girl, and her aunt, but how can I ask that, when the family of a Peabody student is grieving the same loss tonight?  When the world is so full of people who need love and support in their grief, and most of them you don't even know?  But I will.  Please think of my family tonight, and send some good will in the direction of Georgia, to be taken in by whoever is open to it.

I appreciate it.


Accidental Profe said...

My grandmother died last night. Mer.

B.Graham said...

@accidental profe: Then I'm sending good will in the direction of Georgia, for you and your family as well. I am so sorry for your loss.