The Group

I really don’t know how to write this post, tell this news that needs to be told. My writing skills are seriously lacking to convey the horror and grief that a family I don’t know is feeling today. I need to try though. I need to try my very best, because yesterday these parents became part of a group that no one ever wants to be a part of, a group that I am also an unwilling member of. It is the group of parents who had to bury a child.

I heard the news late last night. A friend of a friend was killed in a car accident. She was very young, only in her early twenties. She was just beginning her life, and now she is gone. I feel horrible for the tragic waste of such a young life, I am devastated for her friends, my heart breaks for her young boyfriend. I feel deeply for them all, but this post is not for them. This post is for her parents, because last night the world ended for them.

I don’t begin to say I know how they feel, because they are in a very personal, private hell right now, and I don’t believe it is ever the same for any parent facing this kind of horror. I do know that today, and the days that follow will pass in a painful blur. I know that they will notice that the sun still rises and sets, that cars still drive down the road, that their neighbors still go to work, and be amazed. They will be absolutely shocked that for everyone else on the planet, life still goes on. Perhaps that will anger them in the days to come. Maybe they will want to scream, like I once did, “how can you just keep going like nothing changed! Don’t you know NOTHING will EVER be the same?” The truth of those words pierce me still, because for me, and for them, nothing ever will be the same again.

In the days and weeks to come, these parents will have to make a new normal for themselves. They will have to re learn how to shower, eat, sleep. Much later they will re learn how to smile, later still, laugh. It will be different, forever.

I don’t know these people, and I have no reason to believe that they will ever read this blog. One day, though someone else might, someone who has become yet another member of the group no one wants to be in. For these parents, for every parent in the group, I wanted to write this today, just to say I understand.