GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Thursday, February 21

One of those nights.......

Last night was one of those that you never hope to have to handle. I called a friend of my and was horrified to hear that she had had another loss in her family. Feeling completely helpless I immediately started packing to head back to her place for the night. As I caught the metro back to NoVa I was taken back to a night 4 weeks ago when the call went out for this same friend. She had lost her mother and we scrambled to help in any way we could. Now she is again on a flight out of town to deal with another funeral. I can only imagine the turmoil she is dealing with.

After Kate and I arrived at the apartment we ordered pizza and just talked. Not about anything special, at least that I remember, we were just there. Finally, crawling into bed around midnight or so, we talked for a while before I dropped off into a disturbed sleep. Just before 5 am I woke with a jolt…..not often do I dream about Neil Patrick Harris (who was called Uncle Doog in dreamland) and Blanche Deveraux……but after surfacing I realized that my friend wasn’t in bed, she wasn’t able to sleep and had moved to the couch. So we sat and talked some more; about life and death and all things in-between. I don’t think she ever fell back asleep though I got about 10 more minutes before I had to get ready for work.

Parts of that early morning conversation have stuck with me through out my day. For part of the conversation I spoke of Courtney and Kim and things that I share with very few people. I have learned to recite the events of that time without emotion but last night I was unable to do so. It irritates me that I couldn’t keep my emotions in check, but even now my eyes tear as I think about Courtney. Her birthday is in just over 3 weeks. She would have been 28. In my head I can see her married to a good man, not someone who could turn heads but someone who was good like she was, with a whole passel of kids.

It has been 17 and a half years since that horrible day in August which changed the lives of every member of my family. If my heart still hurts this much, I can’t even fathom how my step dad and siblings feel. The cliché’s say that it gets better but it doesn’t. You just learn to live with it. You become grateful for the twinge of pain, because that means their life was important. Even after all of these years I can hear Courtney in my head admonishing me when I have done wrong and encouraging me when I need a boost. Others have joined in now and I can hear Auntie Jo or Grandpa Galloway to help me through a trying time. While I am grateful for these tender mercies, I can’t help but be selfish and wish they were still here to help me in person, not just in my memories.

5 comments:

Sherpa said...

Seriously, she lost another family member? Oh, no.

Yeah, death is hard. Everyone reacts differently and I can't imagine what she's going through.

Richard said...

Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I'm here if any of you need me.

Lara said...

I'm not sure this is the friend I am thinking about. If so, please let me know if there is anything I can do.

I'm so sorry.

Sherpa said...

I heard from Steph through Erin what happened. My heart really goes out to her.

Boo said...

This was a beautiful post Rae. I am so blessed to have you in my life, especially now. Your strength gives me courage and that is something I need now more than ever. I love you!