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.