I realize I have been blogging very often of death. But for some reason... And there is never a proper reason. Tragedy. Again. Same group of friends. Again. Is this some kind of joke?
I don't want to lump Josh's untimely passing with the friend that passed several weeks ago. It's just very hard when it happens again. So soon after. The same gathering of people, the same black dresses and suits.
"How have you been since your sister died?
"There are good days and then there are bad."
"When was the last time I saw you guys?"
"At the last funeral..."
I feel like I'm watching faces fade from a photograph. Like in Back to the Future where the names keep disappearing from the paper. Or the faces from the photographs. Can lightning strike the same place twice? They say, not. And yet time and time again. Funerals. So many fucking funerals.
It makes me angry. At the teenage driver who was showing off for his girlfriend. Why!? 85 mph in a 35? WHY? WHAT THE FUCK? I want to punch somebody in the face. And yet... In High School I happened to witness a terrible car accident. The death of a friend. I knew the driver who walked away. He was driving recklessly, as sixteen-year-olds usually do. He survived without a scratch. I knew the boy who wasn't so lucky. He died instantly. His parents showed up. The officers put a sheet over the car. I stood and watched a dozen worlds collapse. Change. For the boy's family that was killed. For the boy who had survived and his family. No one walks away from an accident unscathed. I don't care what anybody says.
It's hard not to blame somebody. Such a waste. A mistake. And yet, not once was it mentioned: the accident. There was standing room only in the church. All of us together again. Like a High School Reunion. Every few months we meet here like this. As our friends pass, we join hands. And we drink. And we mourn. And we catch-up.
It's a tragedy and there is nothing else I can say. I'm heartbroken for Josh's family and his brother, Spencer. For his parents and dear friends. For every photo that flashed over the projector at the service was of the two of them. As babies. And as boys. Men. And then.... Fade to black. For his girlfriend. Who had asked him to pick her up something at the store, which he did. And then...
No. It shouldn't have happened.
But it never should. Sixteen-year-olds shouldn't drive so fast. Tell your children not to drive so fast. And yet, I never listened to my parents either...
I'm too exhausted to wax poetic about life being ephemeral. About the knot in my throat and the hole in my heart and how fucked up it is, how helpless, watching my hometown crew mourn an amazing man and great friend. Another amazing man and great friend. Josh was one of the kindest dudes around. He was adored and will be missed. Remembered always. I just wish there was something I could say. Something with meaning. But sometimes it's hard to find meaning in landmines. And wrong-place wrong-time scenarios.
Sometimes, with death all around and sickness and tears, and holding of the same friends, over and over again, I just want to punch death in the face. Because it takes from us, here on earth, the wrong people.
All I know is that Josh was not supposed to go anywhere but out for a gallon of water. And life is unfair sometimes.