Monday, May 27, 2013

too young

Sometimes, the heart is too raw. I feel like mine has been given a once-over with a lemon zester.

A close friend of a close friend of a close friend of mine (sounds distant, but I liked him a lot) fell to his death out of a skyscraper window last week. He had just arrived in Chicago after a 24 hour train ride from Santa Fe, got a little drunk, and fell asleep while sitting by an open window, sixteen stories above the pavement.

On Thursday, an eighteen year old boy driving to school in my hometown flipped his truck off the road, killing his twin brother, while he (the driver!) walked away with a few bruises. My two youngest sisters were good friends with him. I did not know him, although he's spent a lot of time at my family's house, I guess. The story is so perfectly tragic that I can't stop thinking about it. The brother was asked how he was doing at the funeral: "I'm fine. That's the problem."

Both of these deaths remind me of the astounding tragedy at my other sister's college this fall, when three students lost a game of chicken with a train. My sister's housemate hung on for several weeks but finally passed away before Christmas.

Hoku, Michael, Lenore. I don't know what to say.

Matt's dad died of cancer when Matt was only eleven. After so many years, in certain ways, of course he's used to it. He never speaks about it with much pathos or regret. But the other day, he suddenly said, sadly, "It's a real shame you never got to meet him." In a way, I think the loss will keep growing. As a child's horizon expands, the light touches more and more of the earth that should have been shared with the father. He should be able to introduce his wife and children to his father, to ask him for advice, to return to the origin of his manhood and the image of his future.

When I was a child, I used to hear my parents say "Oh, so young!" when someone their age would pass away, and I'd think "Not so young, 45! 50! That's old!" Now I am saying "Oh, so young!" about people who are my age. Currently we are young. But I don't think it will ever stop hurting, or ever seem right. It will always be wrong, it will always be too young.

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