« on: June 24, 2010, 01:05:10 am »
I hate it when my friends and family die. I know that seems self-evident; nobody likes it when people they care about bite the big one. But as you get older, especially when you get to a certain age, the deaths start to pile up.
Granted, I started losing friends pretty early. All four grandparents while I was a kid... hell, that's not unusual. I was pretty broke up when my favorite great-uncle died, but it's when the young people die that it really shakes you up. It started with my first boyfriend-of-sorts, Frankie, a boy I used to mess around with on the cusp of puberty, 16 years old, stabbed to death at school trying to break up a fight... at least, that's the public story. I didn't lose too much sleep over Frankie; he gave me a couple of bloody noses and a black eye, back in the day. It was weird though.
The first one I cried over was Shawn, a girl I worked with when I was 18. We used to commute together to Macheesmo Mouse in Beaverton, listening to Yaz on her car stereo while she told me what an asshole her cheating boyfriend was, and how she was going to leave him. A year later she was dead of the AIDS he gave her.
Jason and Chris both went that way a few years later. I still miss Jason's ridiculous voicemails, and Chris calling me "Princess".
Sharmayne. I still don't know how she died; I only know it was suicide.
In my mid-20's it was my brother Shaman by way of a gun in his mouth. He was a soldier and a poet, and we always thought that he couldn't reconcile the two.
A couple years later my uncle Jerry found out that his melanoma had come back, and that the prognosis was grim. He wasn't one to go out quietly; he flew to Vegas, got drunk, took a bunch of pills and went for a swim.
People think I'm unreasonable for my fear of my loved ones dying. They don't know how eminently reasonable I am.
Who went next? I'm afraid of forgetting someone; I know I'll forget someone, because sometimes I'll remember someone and realize that I'd forgotten them for a while. I think it was Deb, of cancer. That woman would fucking anything, and then she had cancer, and then she was dead.
Jim. My other brother. He was my ex-husband's brother, really, but we were close before and after my marriage. He was my friend. I'll never know if it was related, but in 1997 he was beaten severely and left for dead by his boyfriend; it shattered every bone in his head and left him brain damaged, blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. He had been a handsome man; after several reconstructive surgeries, you could almost see that. They said he wouldn't be able to work again, but he did. He was almost his old self; almost. In 2008 he died of an aneurysm.
My cousin, Matthew. I saw him in the store just a few weeks before a tree fell on him. My other cousin, Misty; not dead but left retarded, childlike after a car accident. She was only 18, blond, brilliant and beautiful. My beloved father-in-law, Sam, stopped eating and drinking after his Alzheimers took him to a point where he felt his dignity was at stake.
Chelle died of cancer last year. I thought she'd be OK; she used to write me about how much my confidence in her inspired her to change her life. She'd had a hard one, but was trying so hard to turn it around and it was WORKING. She was like a little sister. There was no reason for her to have gotten cancer, but she did anyway.
Who am I forgetting?
Today I found out that SaraKay died. An aneurysm. She was about my age, dark hair, grounded, smiling, always ready to go out for breakfast or drink until three; whatever sounded like fun. She gave so much to people, always helping and smiling and real, and she was the kind of person you never felt uncomfortable around. She was never sick; she was just fine. And then she was gone.