A Tragedy Re-visited
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Almost a year ago, I shared a horrific story about the apparent suicide death of a woman I knew who was the mother of 4 young children, the youngest of whom is the same age and was a pre-school classmate of my son. It caused a stir in our community, as you can imagine, and it took me a long time to be able to put out of my head.
I work for my city in the position of city clerk. That means, that among other things, my office maintains all vital records, including death certificates. In situations where individuals die under questionable circumstances and autopsies must be performed, death certificates are incomplete, pending the outcome of the autopsy. Being the clerk of a community of almost 50,000, with a hospital, I certainly don't see most of the death certificates that are filed in my office. But just a few minutes ago, I opened the final death certificate from the state medical examiner on this lovely, beautiful woman whose death still haunts me, and it of course confirms what has been believed all along. I have no idea why it has taken so long to arrive, indeed I had no idea it was still pending 11 months after the event, but here it is, a stark reminder that our world is complex and sometimes not at all a pleasant place to be.
What makes this woman's death all the more tragic is that for the past 3 months, I have had the opportunity to watch her two youngest children play basketball on my son's basketball team, a girl and a boy. They are tiny little kids, smaller than most their age, but they are both beautiful children, great basketball players, and, most importantly, good, nice kids. Every week, I have watched them play hard, score more baskets than most of their peers put together, smiling and laughing, as apparently carefree as any of their teammates. And as I watch, my heart breaks, every single time.
So today, I offer a prayer for this woman, and for those kids and their two siblings. May she rest in peace, may their lives not be clouded by the events of last April forever. Don't know if that's possible on either front, but I do pray for it.