My boyfriend’s sister was killed while crossing the street two days ago.
I will never, for the rest of my life, forget the wail of anguish and disbelief that emanated from his soul as dropped the phone upon hearing the news from his niece, her daughter. Men aren’t supposed to cry. At least that’s what we’re taught in this macho, mine is bigger than yours society. But the wall could hardly sustain him as the towering manly man sobbed for the loss of his sister.
Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to people like us. We’re not supposed to be characters in the real life version of dramas that you hear about on the evening news or read on the paper, but here we are in the whirlwind of what happens after a totally unexpected tragedy.
There’s no one to blame. No one on whom to direct a blissfully distracting laser beam sharpened anger and curse to the fiery depths of hell for causing this accident, because it was just that, an accident. A series of small decisions by everyone involved arranged a perfect storm that created the split second timing in which such a deadly accident could have occurred, and now, she is gone. Never to watch her daughter get married or her sons become the men that she had been waiting on. Never to even meet her grandchild, now steadily growing in the womb. You’re tempted to think, if only she had done this, or if only he had done that, but it doesn’t matter because the end result will still be the same – she is gone, and nothing will change that.
I’m going to label 2011 the Year of Death. It’s been a terrifically horrible year filled with multiple cancer diagnoses, floods, droughts and more deaths and funerals than I hope to attend for the rest of my life. I’ve already lost count of how many funerals my friend and former coworker has attended this year. Frankly, I’d never pick up my cell phone again if I were her.
Death seems to haunt my boyfriend’s family around Christmas. First he lost his grandmother, then his aunt, a cousin, his father and now his sister all in the month of December. Nine years after burying his father two days before Christmas, he had finally mentioned getting a tree to celebrate the holidays this year. Now, those plans are on hold as he helps his niece and nephews plan a funeral for his sister. You would hope that Christmas, the time to surround yourself with friends and family, would be sacred. You would hope that you could all survive this time with laughter and cheer and a little bit of complaining about the gift that you received. Many of us forget that just being alive to complain about constantly playing Christmas music and mall based Santas is a gift itself.
Perhaps if we all pray very diligently for it, Death could take a break around this happiest of times. But even Death doesn’t take holidays. Instead, it took this holiday from us.