Someone posted on Facebook that it had been 19 years since a schoolmate of ours had died. He wasn’t that old when he died. Let that sink in…
That led me to remember my first huge crush, who died in junior high. It’s been more than 20 years since then.. more than 20…
We lost another that was older than us, and I lost a cousin due to an allergic reaction when she was in her 30’s.. none of these were very far apart. A person my parent’s age at the time died from a work accident.. so many young lives..
So later when older people died…it wasn’t a what? shock? It wasn’t the ‘let school out, hold a funeral in the gym’ type of thing. It wasn’t tragic. It seemed fitting. It seemed not so bad, even though it was sad, it wasn’t..devastating like the younger people’s seemed to be. I’m not even sure where to go from this idea, other than to say that it seems so sad that these people, who in one way or the other were either instrumental in decisions I made, or just on a personal level very…resounding in my mind growing up. Like it or not these deaths (whether accidental, medical, or whatever) shaped who I became. In ways that an older person’s death just never could. I know that their immediate families and many other friends (no matter how close) had lots of issues resulting from these deaths. Marriages broke up. Siblings had behavior issues. Friends either had risky behavior or straightened up…but lives were changed.
So you have experience with this? It’s Tuesday: Talk about it!
It took me until Wednesday to get over here… Oddly, I don’t remember too many deaths when I was young. At 50+, I still have two of my grandparents! And I was an adult by the time I lost the other two. It was expected.
The one I had the hardest time with was a little kid drowning in the family pool. Not only did I know his parents well (his dad played guitar at my first wedding and we wound up working together later), but the people who lived on the other side of my duplex were the first responders. That particular one was just devastating to almost everyone I knew.
In recent years, though I expect deaths to happen among my peers now, the sudden ones of co-workers have been the most disturbing. One was killed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when the teens in the car in front of him did a sudden U-turn on a canopy road. His motorcycle went right into the side of their car.
And the other one still hurts so much… This guy and I used to always run into each other grocery shopping. He’d walk around the store with me and point out good buys. He’d been ill for a while and I hadn’t seen him much in the store, but one day he was there and we walked around like we always did. He was having a fish steamed in the deli for dinner and I was ready to leave, so we parted ways. The next day, I found out he slipped on the way to the deli and hit his head and was in a coma. He died a couple of days later, having never regained consciousness. That one made me so sad because he was a genuinely nice person and work was his life. He LOVED working here and it showed. I still miss him. I fought against having his voice taken off the air, so now, whenever I hear him, I say “Hi, Nick!” – and somehow, I think he hears me.