Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dealing with death

If you had read the previous posts you know that last weekend Evan's cousin died. On Monday when I called the social worker she said she had to go out of town because her cousin had also died.

On Thursday I got a call from someone at church. She told me that T. had also died in a car crash. Somehow all I registered was "someone from church." It seemed to me then that I was living some dark comedy in which people are dropping dead around me.

Last night at dinner I asked my husband, "Do we know T?" He looked at me, shocked. "It's K.'s mother."

Oh my god...oh my god...oh my god...I can't breathe. Where's the air? Some analytical part of my brain thinks, "Well of course you could not 'hear' that on Thursday. You could not deal with Evan's grief and this at the same time."

K's mother. I love this girl, this young woman and she has lost her mother.

Her mother -- a woman whose hair is always just so. She was tense, high-strung, nervous. She emailed PFLAG two years ago telling me her teenaged daughter had just come out. They needed a safe place to go to church. Did I know of one? Did I have any resources? I told them about my church and about the youth group for gay kids at The Community Center.

I admired her because supporting her daughter was so difficult for her and yet she did it. She lived in a world in which everything was supposed to be a certain way and then, when her daughter turned not to fit those expectations she adjusted. She did not march in the pride parade (literally or figuratively) but I know how difficult it was for her to contact PFLAG, to move to a new church, to accept what her daughter was saying to her.

K would complain that her mother worried too much, made her come home too early, didn't want her to come out at school, and thought that she should not have a girlfriend until she was in college. "She just wants you safe, sweetie." "I am safe!" "I know. Give her time. Besides, you'll be off and in college before you know it."

I printed off the letters that T wrote to PFLAG two years ago. I am going to give them to K. I hope they provide her with some small comfort. Evidence that the woman for whom change was so difficult reaching out, asking for help to be what her daughter needed her to be.


  1. I see you know my dear friend gawdessness.

    More later. I'm sorry for what is happening to you. Our group lost one of its newest members in December to a drunk drive. He was young (19?) and so glad to have found us. He came to one meeting, got very involved and then nothing. We were undone.

    I couldn't get to your blog without finding your comment which contained the link. Now I won't worry about exactly where the comment was.

  2. Thanks. I think we are all managing to deal with the grief and move on. For me in particular it has been more about hurting for people who hurt -- not so much grieving myself.

    And thanks for leaving my first comment!


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