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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Persistence of Loss

Everyone who has ever lost someone they cared about knows that grief can be a strange thing. People talk about the seven stages of grief, but any of those feelings can hit you at any time without warning, even years down the road. I experienced a miscarriage at about 8 weeks just a few months before I became pregnant with my middle child. Although this is something that I can usually speak about fairly easily, every so often some thought will bring me to tears, and I always feel completely caught off guard when it happens.

My friend Amy died soon after I graduated from high school. Her and her sister were killed by a drunk driver who was a repeat DUI offender. They were both beautiful, loving, just generally wonderful girls, and their loss was difficult for everyone who knew them.

Although I miss Amy, I can honestly say that I don't think of her every day. I live in a different town, so there are days I can go about my life without anything reminding me of her. There are certain objects and songs that always make me think of her, but usually with a smile, because they make me think of how much sunshine she brought into the world.

Today, though, was different. I posted a message to Facebook about my baby's difficulty taking a bottle. One of my friends from high school replied with a comment about how her son had the same problem, but now takes a bottle just fine. It was very normal, day-to-day stuff. I had a thought about how strange it is to think of my friend as a nursing mother when I haven't seen her since high school. That's when out of nowhere, I thought "Amy should be nursing a baby." I just broke down in tears. Just when I thought I'd come to terms with the loss of a beautiful life eleven years ago, today I started mourning again. Eleven years ago I lost my friend Amy. Today I lost the beautiful children that Amy would have had. I lost chatting with her about parenthood and being proud of what a great mother she had become, the way I'm proud of so many of my other friends. Anyone who knew her knows what a great mother she would have been, and this is something else that one drunk driver stole from the world.

I know this is an old, worn-out message, but please think about this when you think about drinking and driving. That one stupid action could have an impact on so many lives, and for so many years. The world has been a worse place ever since Amy died, even if only for those of us in her corner of the world. We will always miss her and wonder what she would be doing if she were here now. I will always wish I could get her advice and support as I go through life. I will never forget.

1 comment:

  1. It was such a blessing to me to grow up with Amy. I work on a college campus and have found myself thinking about her when I see a girl with similar hair, walk, or smile. I think about what she would have majored in and how many kids she would have had by now. I, too, think that she would have been a wonderful mother.
    I think of them often and they continue to help me make good decisions. I'm so thankful to have known two girls who were wise beyond their years.