Monday, May 22, 2006


I leave to Houston in a few hours on a work assignment. I should be in bed, but I'm not. I blame the double chocolate cookies I made this afternoon and ate too many of. And, well, a text message from a friend of mine that came three hours ago.

Basically, her brother fell in a river and has been missing for the past 24 hours. She wanted to let me know, just as she was on her way to Canada, where she hails from. It's all I know, but it's enough.

I have been struck with a flurry of thoughts. I'm so in shock from the news that I can hardly grab onto any emotion but sadness for her and her family. I don't know her brother, but that doesn't matter. I'm sideswiped; I can't even send her a note back or call her (at least not yet), as I'm without the words to comfort her. What's weird is that I can empathize, but not out loud. Maybe I will eventually. I hope so.

She's one of the happiest people I've ever met. I love how a simple conversation with her can morph into three hours without so much as a glance at my watch. I can shout out a word like "grass" at random and she can riff off of it for a good 10-15 minutes. So imagining seeing her as the polar opposite of that just breaks my heart.

I'll fall asleep eventually, but not yet. And I believe I'll think on this past tomorrow. It seems a little exploitative of me to share this, but I do so for a reason: the more I think on it, the more I wonder at the possibility of a similiar surprise tragedy happening to my own family. How might I react then? How might anybody react? I'd like to hope I come across as brave as my friend did, even in dashing off a few sentences to me, but I don't know that I would. Why do we cry in those instances? Because of the missed opportunities. Because of how we could have grown to know and love that sister or brother or father more. That's how I see it.

I've decided just now to reach out to my family some more. It helps to focus on the things I can do now versus those I might never be able to change.


aisy said...

I lost two good friends (they were brothers) several years back. It was a tragic hiking incident. It shook me up quite a bit and brought to my mind your sentiments. I remember how I strived for better relationships with friends and family. Thanks for the post, as it reaffirmed what is really important.

ram said...

No words can be said to allay that fear of loss, of the worst. I feel your friend considers herslf fortunate to know someone that she can trust and turn to in that type of situation, if only to release.