Me and my high school friends…we were tight. These girls were the sisters I never had, and I’m still on great terms with the core members of my little group. This week, one of my girls was dealt a horrible blow–worse than anything I can imagine.
Her older brother died on the 17th. Right now the cause of death is a suspected prescription overdose…but with a good chance of suicide. The funeral is beginning right now in Fishers, Indiana, and I’m sitting in my room in Olympia simultaneously wishing I was there to support her and being thankful that I am not. Right now, I am much more angry than I am sad. If it was suicide, it was beyond selfish for him to do this in light of the other tragedy that befell the family this summer, a tragedy that makes suicide a very real possibility.
On June 30th, his daughter–my friend’s beloved niece–died. It was a tragic accident. My friend’s brother had his children–the four-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother–for the holiday weekend and took them camping. He decided to take the kids on an ATV ride, and the vehicle flipped over. It threw everyone. The little boy emerged from the accident well enough, but his father was knocked unconscious for a while. By the time he came to, the little girl was unresponsive. She was later declared dead at the hospital.
The baby’s loss shook my friend’s entire family to the core. My friend was a walking shell of her former self. Entirely consumed by grief. It’s really only been since September that I’ve seen her come back to life instead of just existing. And now this.
I definitely understand how much grief and guilt my friend’s brother was feeling. I cannot imagine living with the knowledge that my actions had led to the death of my beautiful and vibrant daughter–a person just becoming acquainted with the world. But I also can’t imagine being lost to that guilt and utterly abandoning my family and surviving child. And so I’m left furious that this man put his family in this position. I grieve for both of these senseless deaths, and I will be there in whatever way I can for my friend…but I have a feeling it will be a long time before I can forgive her brother for his final action.
To ‘I’: I hope you have found the peace your life had stolen from you. I hope you can now comfort your little girl the way you longed to do after her death, and I hope you will watch over your son as he grows. I pray your separation from him causes neither of you the type of insurmountable grief you’ve both already experienced. Know that your family is loved and loves you I am so, so sorry if you ever felt anything otherwise.