6 Deaths In 7 Months
Losing someone isn't easy. Losing more than one person is even harder. And when the death is unexpected, it's almost intolerable.
This is what I faced during my sophomore year in college.
There are six faces I can't forget. Six lives that ended too quikly. Six lives ended by traffic accidents. Six people I will never get to know better. Kaycie, Austin, Gary, Ace, Russell, Wendy.
I graduated with one of them. Went to school with another three. Two of them were my neighbors. They had one thing in common -- they died in car accidents, all within 7 months of each other.
Austin had a figh with his girlfriend. He had a new, fast car and he was upset. It was late. He almost made it home before he lost control around a curve. Some of his friends hit his body when they were coming home from the football game. His father was a fireman, and one of the first on the scene. I never got to know Austin well enough, and now I'll never have the chance.
Kaycie was coming home from a field party. A cop tried to pull her over and she got scared. We still don't know exactly what happened. All we know is that for some reason, she tried to run. She lost control of her car within sight of her cousin's home. Her aunt was a nurse, but the cops wouldn't let her help. Kaycie died on the side of the road, thrown out because she wasn't wearing her seatbelt. I had said some things about ehr the day before that I can never take back now. I can never tell her that I was wrong, and that I'm sorry.
Gary was driving home from work. He was tired, having worked a double shift. He fell asleep at the wheel, and drifted off the road, into a steep ditch and flipped. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. His sisters found him after they went searching for him when he didn't come home. No one who drove past the wreck bothered to call it in. Gary was my cousin's best friend. I never dated Gary, and now I kind of regret never giving the guy a chance. I regret not knowing him better.
Ace was coming home from a friend's house. It was 2 Am, and they'd been up talking, playing video games and goofing off all night. He looked down to play with the radio, or try to change a CD, and veered into oncoming traffic. He hurt the couple in the other car, but he lost his life. Ace was a close friend, someone that let me borrow Cd's was always there to listen when I needed someone to complain to. I miss having him around to push around. I miss hearing his voice, his laugh. I can't call him in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.
Russel was my neighbor. My father's friend. He had a daughter, a few years younger than me, and the two of us were friends. Russel was an alcoholic. After several near-death experiences, he ended up getting in a wreck when his "less drunk" friend was driving. He had his jaw wired shut for four weeks. After that he quit drinking. At least for a while. But the pain of his addiction was too much for him. One day, he finally gave in to weakness, drove down to a bar and had a few drinks. It hit him a lot harder than he was used to, and he tried to drive home. He didn't make it. He left behind a beautiful daughter. A girl that couldn't really understand how this was fair. A girl that had grown up watching him drink himself to death, and had started to see things become normal. I think I grieve more for her than I do for myself. That girl never cried at the funeral. Not once. She's much too young to be so strong.
Wendy lived across from me. I watched her life unfold, as she got married, and tried to have children. Then I watched when she and her husband were able to adopt a beautiful little boy. Then I had to watch as they got divorced, and the custody battle that ensued. I watched her life fall apart. She started partying more, started losing it a little. She and her husband finally decided to get back together, and she had moved some of her things back in. Their family was finally starting to come back together. But she decided she was going to try to drive home drunk from a party. She lost control of her car, and had a wreck. Her car flipped. I had finals the week that she died. I couldn't think of anything, I couldn't remember anything but her smile, and her willingness to help when I needed it. I could only think about how badly she wanted a baby, and how lucky they had been to be able to adopt one. I miss her so much.
Six faces, gone within seven months of each other. Hard to handle. Hard to adjust to. But impossible to forget. I miss you all, so much.