…Like a shot in the dark.
It is an amazing thing, grief. It’s as powerful as I imagine God to be, if God were to show up as a state of being. I can not ever say which stage I’m in because it changes all the time and has no linear fashion.
I am definitely not the same person I was before Sam shot herself in the neck, on the coast, one Spring Sunday night in May.
May 17th to be exact.
10 PM (or so) to be even more accurate.
It’s November now. I can work without too much cloudy thinking, However, I have a tendency to work so much that the grief unintentionally gets shoved aside. It will have it’s way – grief always finds me. I’ve concluded that if you are to avoid it completely you must catch it at the beginning, going as deep as you can with your refusal. If you indulge yourself, even a little, in the horror, sadness and confusion, grief takes that as a “yes.”
So, when the police called in response to my missing persons report and told me they found the car with Sandra in it, dead from a gun shot wound (presumably self inflicted), I screamed. Alone in my kitchen on that Tuesday afternoon…or was it Monday? I screamed and screamed and screamed, “no, no no NONONO oh God NO!” and I lost my feet below me. That was my ’yes.’ It came so fast and unexpectedly that I couldn’t catch myself.
Then that idiotic female police officer told me, through clenched teeth, that I needed to pull it together when I spoke with the coroner or they wouldn’t give me information. I was completely shocked at her command. She had just told me that my only true family, outside my marriage, was gone for good, would not be coming home to our house where she’d been living for the last two years. I did my best to follow orders – I had to. I needed to know more.
As it turns out, the Monterey County coroner was kind, comforting, and fully expected me to be a mess. Det. Diana Foster also let me know that she specifically asked that first officer to either go to my home to deliver the news, or make sure I had someone with me. Santa Clara County doesn’t provide the “knock on the door.” Apparently they also don’t give a crap If your alone or not. That first officer was almost gleeful when she told me they found Sam. She told the coroner she was just excited to be able to have me stop worrying. Does anyone else see the disconnect here?
And why, you may be wondering, does it matter? Nothing could change the horrible news. I know, and yet…that news changed my life forever. It changed my family’s life forever. Indelible from that day is that officer’s greed. She was probably panicking as she experienced my meltdown, really “getting” (way too late) the trauma involved in satisfying her need to be the deliverer of the news. How could I insinuate such a thing? The coroner was frustrated and clear with her, IF YOU CANNOT GO TO THE HOME OR MAKE SURE SHE’S NOT ALONE, don’t tell her, just give her my phone number. Detective Foster said she would have come herself, from Monterey Country (an hours drive) to deliver it herself.
So what is this writing about? It’s about grief. It’s about greed. It’s about what we take from people when we are so desperate in our unmet needs that we ignore all commands, requests, obligations, and agreements.
Sam didn’t keep hers.
And neither did that officer.
And neither did I.
But that’s another story.