In the midst of my bad week, I heard a news report of a fatal car crash that took the lift of a 23 year old. They said the name on the news and it caused me to look up. It was someone with the same name as the grandson of a close family friend.
Unsure if it was him or not, I set out doing research, finding articles online. I had no indication though that it was him, and the last thing I wanted to do was to call this friend and say "hey, I heard something on the news today..."
Two days passed and I was still uneasy about things. I checked the obituaries, then after lunch on Thursday, I found an article about the accident. The driver survived, he was being charged with a number of things as he was driving with a blood alcohol level of 3 times the legal limit. Then the article went on to discuss the deceased. 23 years old, named his parents, where he went to school, the fact that he had served in the Navy but had not continued because he wanted to get a degree in law enforcement and marry his high school sweetheart. As I'm reading all this my eyes were starting to tear. It was my friend's grandson. A kid who when he was born, I heard endles stories about him because he was the first grandson and grandma was proud. A kid that I remember having at my house a few times. A kid I remember carrying around and playing with. And now he's gone.
The wake was last Friday. I can't begin to tell you how crowded it was. An endless line of people waiting to pay their respects. His parents looked stunned as they were greeted by guests. First on my list was to find my friend. When she saw me, she grabbed hold and just sobbed. We both did, we hugged for about a minute. I still couldn't believe it. Neither could she. We talked for about 20 minutes. I was there about a half hour. Part of the time I tried to step away from my friend so that she could greet other guests but she grabbed my arm and wouldn't let me get away.
Wakes, like funerals, are sad. Nobody likes going to them. But I have to say, this is probably the most difficult one I ever had to attend.
I guess it's kind of selfish for me to complain about my bad week, considering the alternative. I think my friend's week was by far worse than mine.