Saturday, October 13, 2007

Easy? NOT!

She was only 42, yes "only" 42. As a young child I thought that anyone in their forties was ancient; we probably all did and I'm sure the young set of today do as well. Today being an adult of 49 years of age I realize that 42 is young, especially when death is mentioned in the same sentence.
By her 42nd year, she was well educated, had a very upstanding career as well as being a single mother of a 4 year old son; her only child. No one could believe that this young woman who was alive and vibrant one day could be cold and lifeless the next, but she was.
This sad tale played out like this:
She was close to her parents, spoke with her mother on a daily basis and most days saw her for at least a few minutes. Her career was such that it kept her busy a lot of the time so her parents had become her childs part time parents as well. She was off from work the day that this all took place and her mother found it odd that she hadn't heard from her. Her mother had called her house only to get her answering machine and just waited for her to call her back. Hours and hours passed without a return call but her mother knew that this was not uncommon. On her days off she tried to accomplish as much as she could although they usually spoke prior to the errands which often lasted most of any given day.
At around 7:00 that evening, her mother called again and when she received no answer both parents decided to take a ride over to her house to see if perhaps something was wrong, after all with a 4 year old son she was usually home by that time. When they pulled into her driveway, the house was dark but her father was able to peek into the garage and see that her car was there. It was at this time that they decided to ring the bell despite the blackened windows; still no response. Even though they had permission to use the key that had been given them they of course hesitated thinking that they might be intruding, perhaps walking in on something they should not be privy to but something didn't feel right. Her mail and newspaper were both on the porch.
Upon entering the house and turning on a light they noticed her purse on the kitchen table and her shoes where she always flicked them off just inside the door. They called her name, got no response and continued on through the house; something felt terribly wrong about this. They weren't happy to be "snooping" around their daughters home but needed to know that their daughter and grandchild were safe and continued calling their names as they went from room to room.
As they approached her bedroom, through the open door they could see a lump at the end of her bed and as they crossed the threshold the lump came to life; it was their grandson. He immediately uttered "sssshhhhh, mommas sleeping". His frightened grandmother went to the top of the bed and lightly put her hand on her daughters forehead to feel if she perhaps had a fever and might be ill. It was in that instant that she realized that her daughter would never be sick again, never be the same again; nothing would be.
In a whirlwind, the child was taken from the house, police called, coroner contacted, autopsy ordered and she was taken away. This had to be like a horrible nightmare. How could this be happening they all thought? Why was this happening? No one could immediately answer the millions of questions that were now running through her parents and families minds.
As it turned out the first findings showed that she had been dead since at least the night before. It appeared as if she had gone to sleep and never woke again. Her son had awaken that morning to find his mother asleep and knew not to bother her. All day long he had spent a vigil in her room at the foot of her bed waiting for her to waken not knowing that she would never get out of bed on her own accord ever again.
I met this child the first time I visited the families home and could immediately see that he was a very intelligent boy yet had no idea of the brevity of the situation. He knew that momma was gone, was told that she had died and gone to heaven to help god, but I doubt that his young mind really knew what the word forever meant.
The funeral was a tough one, the tears and wails were heart wrenching, the pain that these people were experiencing was all too evident. When her casket was finally laid over the grave that would house it for as long as it remained whole, and the minister had finished his final words, the family, one by one, placed a single rose on top of it and went straight to their cars. The little boy was carried and along with his rose he placed a picture that he had drawn for his momma on the casket yet he wanted to take her home and began sobbing and heaving. When it was her parents turn her mother could barely walk to the casket and would not leave when she got there. After much consoling and coaxing from her husband, she eventually limped away sobbing, was helped into her car and they then all drove away.
All in all there were so many losses that day that some fail to perceive. Not only was a young womans life lost but two parents child was lost, a sister was lost, a friend to many was lost, a vibrant part of the community was lost and above all a childs mother and innocence were lost; for a short moment, I, a virtual stranger also felt lost.


HungryGhost said...

Wow - The image of the child in his dead mother's bedroom is simply awful. I am glad you introduced yourself - I'll most definitely be back.

Loz said...

I don't know how you deal with such sadness day after day.

paisley said...

ah ha i see you've met the hungry ghost... cool ... his resurrection piece was off the hook....

this piece was amazing... how preciously it shows that death is for the living... as they dead know not.... i find comfort and yet guilt in that statement...

Agnes Mildew said...

Oh, DS, this was so sad. I felt so sick for the little boy and the pain those parents must have felt. How terrible. Do they know what caused the death, or am I intruding in asking that? Dreadfully sad. The only succour I can get from it is that the boy does have very loving, caring grandparents to raise him, which is more than some orphaned children have.

Chef Tom said...

Yeah...death is never easy to accept no matter how old or young the person was....

Catherine said...

You have a wonderful blog and I am so happy to have found it.

I have added your blog to my link list on my blog.

I can't wait to visit again! :)