Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And Then There Was Grief...

Adam lost a dear friend yesterday.

His 17-year old friend rolled her car. She wasn't wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She died.

Joe and I didn't know his friend. She was the friend of a cousin of a friend and their relationship developed and was conducted electronically. At first, I think, there was a little boy-girl flirting. Later it became the kind of friendship we all crave.

I asked Adam what he liked best about his friend. "She was always there for me, whether I was sad or mad or happy. I'd send her a message and she'd always, always respond."

He's lucky he knew her for the two years he did. He's lucky to have found that kind of friendship. He's lucky to have experienced her energetic and enthuiastic perspective, even from a distance.

Adam's first request was for our priest. I'm thankful he rests in his faith.

Still, he doesn't think it's fair that she's dead. Her family probably doesn't either. And they're right to feel that way; it's not fair or right or just. We can all agree.

Our agreement doesn't change facts.

Adam's lost someone with whom he shared his life. Her family and friends will encounter empty spaces she used to inhabit. Joe and I sense the loss of another piece of Adam's childhood.

So now we cope with varying degrees of loss.

Adam's grief is intense. It scares me. I don't know what to say and don't want to say the wrong thing. Most of the time we're just quiet. He lets me hold him a little. As I do, I can't help but think of the parents that can no longer hold their beautiful daughter while noticing how perfectly the son that grew in my body still fits in my arms.

We're so sad.

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