Saturday, January 17, 2009

Loss

Our neighbors' sixteen-year old daughter was killed in a single-car accident last night. She and Paige grew up together and were still somewhat close. She was killed on a section of road that has been the sight of other fatal accidents, a section of road that scared me so much that when Paige asked last night if she and some friends could drive out of town five miles along that road to another friend's house, I said only if I drove them. When we had nearly arrived at her friend's house and saw flashing lights on the road ahead, I breathed a sigh of relief that we were turning and that all the kids who were planning to meet at that friend's house had already arrived safety. Paige called me shortly after I got home from taking them to ask me to pick them up. She sounded somber, so I was a little concerned, thinking that possibly there was drinking going on, and she was being a good girl and removing herself from the situation (although that seemed highly unlikely considering the parents of the boy whose house they were at.) Anyway, when I arrived, Paige and one of her friends came out to the car, looking so serious, and then Paige told me that they had just found our that her friend Shaye was dead.She was the reason for the flashing lights. She shouldn't have been on that road. Her parents thought she was in town at a friend's house until they got that call...the one that all parents fear.

I have never been so close to the physicality of grief as I've been in the last twenty-four hours. My friends doted on their daughter, centered their world around her and her brother, and now their lives are irrevocably changed. They're devout Christians, so there's some comfort there, but so many of us feel so helpless. How many casseroles can you take someone, after all. Their house has been full of well-wishers all day, all of us knowing that there's really nothing we can do, all of us wishing so badly that there was a rewind button somehow.


I wasn't even sure that I wanted to write about this. It's like I'm asking for sympathy when it's not my loss. Kai didn't cry last night when he heard although he was shaken. This afternoon, when he went to the house, he cried. He told me later that he wasn't crying for Shaye, it was for all of those sad people, that sadness was like a pandemic. That's how I feel.

I'm going to take a little break from blogging this week and try to do what little I can to help comfort my friends...and I'm going to hug my kids a lot.

13 comments:

Willow said...

Caroline, I'm so sorry. The loss of a child ought not to happen to a parent. We have stood by and cried with friends and you know, you don't have to say anything except I'm sorry, I loved her too.

The comfort that knowing your child is in the care of our Heavenly Father helps some, but Kai is right. We cry for the people who are left.

Take all the time you need.

Knittings Nice! said...

So sorry to hear about this sad loss...and no your not seeking sympathy...your doing what we all do in these situations..reach out...trying to comprehend why....what....how? Warm wishes and condolences to family and friends.

Hege said...

I'm so sorry to read about this.
It must be all parents nightmare.

((hugs))

Julie said...

Oh this is so awful to hear, and it must shake you to your core. I worry every moment from the minute my kids walk out of the house until they're home safe again. I don't think that ever ends, and these kids think they are immortal. We used to once, when we were younger, but as we have matured, we know how valuable life is. Right now, all you can do is be there for your friends and your children. Draw strength from one another.

a simple yarn said...

A tragedy. And no words can adequately describe the sympathy felt for your neighbors and you.

Anonymous said...

I am shook up just reading this. I too was in your situation last year, as you know. You let the parents talk about her whenever they need to. Listening with compassion. You just be there for them....

We all need to learn from these tragedies. To live life, to love those in our lives.

Thinking of you all.
XO
Ann/Lincoln

Wool Winder said...

My heart is breaking for them. There's nothing you can say, really, but it matters that you are there for them.

TheBlackSheep said...

That's heartbreaking to hear. I can't even imagine what her parents are going through. I'm glad you're there for them, because Kai is right. It's the people who are left behind that suffer.

May her family find peace again someday.

a friend to knit with said...

oh gosh, i am so sorry. truly what every parent fears, a true nightmare.
i'm sure i won't be able to stop thinking about your friends. i will keep them in my prayers.

JayJay said...

Wow, that is so terribly sad. Now that I'm a parent, stories like these bring tears to my eyes. Please take some time and help your friends grieve.

Tracy said...

Oh, Caroline, I'm am so very sorry to learn of your neighbor's tragic loss. My heart and prayers go out to them...and to you as you bear witness to their grief and give comfort. What sorrow your neighbors are going through...to lose a child must be the most horrible thing. And even more so to have to learn to keep living without them. My they find strength in the love and care of family, friends and neighbors surrounding them. Do take your time...and not let a day go by without signs of love. ((BIG HUGS))

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Caroline. How very sad -- your post brought tears to my eyes. A very sobering reminder of how fleeting life is. It sounds like you have a supportive community of friends. We had this happen in our community -- my son's best friend's father tragically killed on a bike and just a few weeks later, another of their friends killed in a fall -- they live only two doors from each other. The gathering of friends and family support system was amazing. I hope your friends will be able to find some peace in the coming days.

Willow said...

I hope your week has been full of love and care.

The blueberry ranch is on Santa Rosa Road between TO and Camarillo.