On June 11 of 2017, a high school acquaintance passed away.
I came upon this draft when I was sprucing up the place the other day. I could’ve deleted it but instead decided to share. Part of what follows was publicly posted in 2017, (the family actually encouraged folks to share to end the stigma), but I withheld my thoughts due to my associate status. Now the time seems right somehow. With all the recent craziness, let’s bring light.
She was two years ahead of me in school. We were on the dance team together. Our positions were 2nd and 3rd at the end of the line, left side. Beyond practices and performances, we didn’t socialize. Though she was very close to my dear friend’s sister. L and I looked up to those girls.
Coincidentally after she graduated from college, we worked for the same company. Her husband was a co-worker of mine at our Riverwalk office. Had it not been for that second coincidence of meeting him, I’d have never known what became of her.
Not many knew what was going on “behind the scenes”. She was tormented though. Tragic really. Genetically so as her younger brother met a similar fate. I can’t even imagine how their parents and remaining sibling must feel.
I’m rambling I know. Not sure if the backstory even matters. What matters is that their loss is among countless of other tragedies in this dire yet beautiful world. What I am searching for and why I write is to gain perspective. To realize for better or worse, the human condition connects us all. We are NOT alone!
Here’s an excerpt of the FB post written by her oldest daughter, shared by her son-in-law. What mettle those youngsters showed in sharing grief:
Nothing can prepare one for the loss of a parent, even when they are battling a cruel disease like alcoholism. We ask that those wishing to honor her memory contribute to a GoFundMe we’ve set up. We will be making a donation on her behalf to the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Mom, may you remain in peace with our love for you a constant reminder of who you really are and who you shall be remembered as: like the rest of us, a flawed human being, an imperfect wife, but still the only mother we ever would have wanted. We love you and we will miss you.
I’ll close with a South Park quote a friend shared today that has hit home unlike anything else thus far: “Well yeah, I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like, it makes me feel alive, you know? It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like, a beautiful sadness.”
Pass the tissues for the happy tears. May she Rest in Peace.