this weekend I attended the funeral of a friend’s brother who was killed by a drunk driver. It was tough to sit there for so many reasons. Watching my friend and his family in pain and hurt, was almost too much. Thinking how close I was to being the person in the casket, and feeling like a sore thumb because I survived and he didn’t.
Survivor’s guilt is real even when no one dies in the crash you’re involved in. My husband and I survived. But when I read or hear others stories where their loved one died I don’t want to speak up and say I understand or I know what you’re going through. I mean I do understand the pain and suffering associated with losing a loved one in a horrific tragic way at the hands of another person. But I don’t want to tell them I too am a victim of a drunk driving crash. What makes one person live and another die? There is no rhyme or reason to this process. It’s all randomness. And when I hear or see their pain and anguish I don’t want to make them feel worse by reminding them that not everyone dies. The why me’s are the worst.
The church service was very uplifting as they celebrated this young man’s life rather than mourn their loss. There were lots of people who worked with him in Nevada who made the trip to California to say their good byes and pay their respects. The department or corrections did a full on memorial and salute and it was breathtaking to witness that. When my Tia Andrea died I was so lost in grief I don’t even remember that happening at her funeral.
Mostly my heart just aches for my friend and his family. His brother was taken far too soon from this world and the anger and injustice I know he is feeling breaks my heart. I wanted nothing more than to grab him and hug him and never let go. I wanted to tell him that his feeling of loss will never leave nor will it ever decrease in feeling. Rather he will learn to live with a piece of his heart and soul missing. That he has his family to stay in this life and be present for. And as hard as that is some days you just have to. Life will find a way.
R.I.P Sharrod. And peace and love to you Ryan as you learn to live in this new reality.