Two constants in life are death and taxes. As any semi-regular reader of my blogs knows, death has struck many times over the years, everyone from my father to my priest's wife. But when death strikes and you can't comfort the grieved, you're at a loss.
Wednesday at work, the flu infected me to a degree that even my co-workers could see the progression over a few short hours. One scurried around the office with Clorox wipes disinfecting every surface I had touched during the day. Another insisted that I go home. NOW!
It was upon checking my cellphone for urgent office email on Thursday morning that my friend's email stunned me. Her niece committed suicide on Wednesday night. The girl shot herself. Her father found her.
The time stamp on my friend's email was 2:34 a.m. She had wanted to come over for a shoulder of support. The problem is that she is also the primary caretaker of her elderly parents who suffer from dementia (her dad) and a gaging reflex that requires a feeding tube for nutrition (her dad) to pneumonia (her mom) because of a stroke (her mom). The last thing she needed was to take my flu germs back to her parents just when both of them were out of the hospital.
So she wrote a lengthy email containing her pain and anguish and despair. And I was at a loss for words.
Of the two teenage suicides from my circle of friends, they were both gunshots. There are some sights that can't be unseen. Death, especially a tragic, traumatic, bloody death, is one of them. One that no father should ever have to see.
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