Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A sad and unplanned absence

Generally I try to write some entertaining stories about my life. Not that my life is always entertaining, but who wants to read about the boring parts!

This particular entry is not fun.

Some of you have written and asked where I've been. I've been taking a break from the blog and from many aspects of my life the last 10 days or so...and not for a good reason. My 16-year-old niece died ten days ago. She was the youngest child of my wife's only sister.

She was injured in a sledding accident. She was transported by lifestar to a trauma center where all efforts were made to help her. But she never regained consciousness. And she passed away in the early hours of Sunday, December 2.

There is nothing that can prepare us for losing a young person in such a sudden and tragic way. I've gone through feelings of profound sadness, shock, anger, and total exhaustion - mentally, physically, and emotionally.

My sister-in-law lives just outside Salt Lake City. So we gathered our kids and flew there to be with them. We were there for the formal events surrounding her death - the viewing and the funeral. Our two sons and I were asked to be pall bearers. It was a very sad task, but also a real honor to help lay her to rest. It seems just doing something was helpful to us.

And that was true for the extra days we were there. The time to just be with extended family was nurturing. But there was always that sense of just wanting to do something...wanting to find some way to be helpful. Cooking. Shopping. Anything that could be done just to keep our hands and minds a bit distracted helped us through the days and nights.

My wife is still in Salt Lake with her sister so that she can help as they begin to sort through my niece's things.

I'm back at work. The kids are back at school. And we are slowly returning to the normal aspects of our lives. And there is much comfort in just fitting in to those things again. And that includes writing in my corner. I'm glad to be back.

For my niece's family, the road back to "normal" will be very long and difficult. My love and prayers go out to them.

Kristy was a wonderful young woman. We loved her very much. And she will be missed.


38 comments:

barefoot gardener said...

Ohhhh, my sympathies to you and your family.

I think the wanting to DO something is sometimes the hardest part of grieving. There is nothing that CAN be done to make things better, and yet that is what we want to do. Very close friends of mine lost their 16 yr old dtr in a car accident a few years ago, and it was so difficult to find the right words or the right things to do. The helplessness of the situation seems to amplify the grief.

I will be thinking of you and your family in this hard time...

Trish said...

*speechless*

I am so so sorry to hear of such a tragedy. I cannot even begin to imagine...it is indeed a parents very worst nightmare.

Hugs, thoughts and prayers to you and niece's family.

Rebecca said...

Oh, Em! I am so sorry about this.

EsLocura said...

how absolutely dreadful. my sympathies to you and yours.

Star said...

I am so sorry Em. Please extend my condolences to your family. She is a beauiful girl. We lost our daughter suddenly just a year ago, so I know the pain. Things do eventually return to normal, but the normal is different. If there is amything I could do, from all the way over here, you need only to ask.

furiousBall said...

That's terrible. Good thoughts, prayers for you and your family.

Thumper said...

Oh man...I am SO sorry :(

Marie said...

I'm so sorry! What a horrible tragedy... Prayers to your family..

Jenster said...

I am so very sorry. I can barely begin to imagine the pain her parents are going through right now.

Your family will be in my prayers.

Chelle said...

Oh No!! I am soooo sorry!! It is such a tragedy when we lose someone so young! :(

My sympathies are with you and the whole family. :(

Darren said...

My sympathies to you and yours.

Autumn said...

My heart goes out to you. What a sad sad thing to have happen. Life seems so unfair at times like this. We have had our share of saddness over the last few years so I know what you must be going through. It is especially tough this time of year. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Oh, The Joys said...

I am so very sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. So, so sorry.

May said...

What a tragedy! I can't even imagine what her parents and family are going through.

Kati said...

Oh Em!!! I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your niece. She looks like she was a beautiful young girl. How sad!!! My thoughts & prayers are with your entire family as you face the world without her in it. May you all find much comfort in the happy memories you have of your time with her.

charlotta-love said...

Oh Em, sorry to hear that. You and your family are in my prayers and thoughts.

Gnightgirl said...

I am so very sorry; my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

meno said...

Oh my god, i am so sorry. What a beautiful girl.

Take care of yourselves.

Jeff said...

What a tragic loss. I'm sorry for your loss Em.

Thomas said...

I am so sorry. My sympathies to you and your family.

I wish the missus luck with the sorting. My father passed in June and mom and I are still finding things even this late in the game. Sorting is slow and difficult, especially this soon after the event.

TV

Sheila said...

I am so sorry to hear about your niece I'll be thinking of you!!! *****HUGS*****

Beth said...

Oh Em....noooooo. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. so sad.

tulipmom said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your niece. I will be thinking of you and your family during this sad time.

It is good to have you back.

Bardouble29 said...

Wow, my friend. I am so sorry to hear about the tragedy your family has expperienced.

I too was away for awhile, but for good reasons. But I am back around.

thethinker said...

I am so sorry to hear this. It seems even more tragic simply because she was so young. I really hope that your family is doing okay.

A said...

Wow. It's so hard when someone so young leaves us. Not supposed to be that way. The majority of the last 10 or so funerals I've been to have been for young people, younger than 20 or so. It's just so wrong.

Glad you're back.

Redneck Mommy said...

There are no words Em. I wish I didn't understand so well what you are all going through. I'm so very sorry for your family's loss.

May you all find peace soon.

If I can help in anyway, let me know.

FENICLE said...

Oh my, I'm just now catching up on reading blogs...I'm so sorry to hear about your niece. What a beautiful spirit she had in her eyes. My prayers are with you and the family as they try to cope.

It's always so hard to make sense of random acts such as these...I do hope you can all find some peace in the events and can lean on each other for strength in the years to come, as you grieve.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

She has such light in her eyes in that picture!

I have no words that could comfort you. I can only offer (((((((HUGS))))))).

TK Kerouac said...

How tragic. How an adventure such as sleding can turn out to be so dangerous, these accidents are quite common yet you never believe it will hit so close to home.
My sympathies to you and your family..
I can't even imagine what your wife sister and family is going through and so close to Xmas
Hope she gets all the support she needs
Hugs

Jazz said...

I'm so sorry. My heartfelt sympathies to youand your family.

Wizened Wizard said...

Oh, Em, I am so sorry.

I had noticed your absence, but never imagined that it was caused by a tragedy.

Every parent who reads this post feels a sense of your wife's sister's family's grief. We all choke with sorrow and stare in sad wonder. Children are not supposed to die.

My embraces and heart-felt sympathy to all of you who love Kristy.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Oh Em, I'm so terribly sorry.

There are no words for something like this.

Just know I'm deeply saddened for all of you and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Gretchen said...

I'll be praying for your family and hers, Em. No words. So not fair.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

Oh no. I am so sorry. This is a sad yet lovely post. Heartfelt thoughts and prayers with you and your family.

Dorky Dad said...

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHH!!! HOW DID I MISS THIS???

Em, I'm so, so sorry! I don't know what else to say but that, yet my sympathies are with you and your family. And my prayers. I can't even fathom something like that happening to my boy.

I'm going to go give him a hug now.

radioactive girl said...

I am so sorry for your loss!

Mama P said...

I just read this. I am so sorry. Truly, so sorry.