Friday, January 11, 2013


It's been a week, y'all.

There are a lot of things in parenting that you feel you will never be prepared for. They come and go, and you realize that it wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Most things in parenting are like that, actually.

This week I experienced something that is decidedly NOT like that. Walking my kid through the death of a friend, almost a brother really. I don't think there is anything that can prepare you for this. Even going through the loss of friends too soon, myself.

It is a helpless feeling because there's just nothing that you can do. Yes, you can be there for hugs, and words of encouragement, but it is truly a battle that is all their own.
All you can really do is sit back and watch it unfold as they go from an initial detached reaction to, "wait, this is really happening, hold on, I can't find the brake", to finally reaching the point where the permanence begins to set in.

In The Teenager's case, it was a coworker, but he was much more than a coworker. He was who had trained her, she worked pretty much every shift with him (he was her shift manager), but more than that, over the past year and a half he had become the big brother she never had, one of her closest confidantes, and one of her biggest supporters. She talked to him about everything, from major life decisions down to the littlest things like what color to dye her hair. He always pushed her to go red. An option that was never even on the table in her mind.

Ironically, last Saturday, she dyed her hair red - on a complete whim. It was the next day, when she was done with her shift at work that they took her aside and told her that he had died overnight in his sleep.

When he told her he had cancer in November is was sad, it was scary, but it never crossed her mind that she might never see him again. She found out from the others last night, after his wake, that he was scared to tell her he was sick. He didn't want to have to tell her. They all felt the same way when it came to telling her that he had passed. Of course, I don't think anyone expected it at all, much less this soon. (He was only 27. Twenty-seven... so young...)

She has never experienced death before. Not like this, not this close. There have been a couple of kids from her school who have died over the past couple of years, but she wasn't close friends with them, so it was sad, but easily brushed off.
This is the first time it has ever been this real.

I'm so glad that she went out with everyone last night and she got to hear from them how he always talked about her, how much he cared about her, how she was like his little sister... She really needed to hear that, because from her mouth, "he was truly one of the most amazing people I will ever have known".

From bed last night she tweeted, "all the things you taught me will never be forgotten."

I hate that she is going through this, but I am so glad that he was a part of her life, even for that brief time.

Phew! Sucky, sucky week, yo... Now on to helping her celebrate that she was able to know him in the first place, and to move forward.

Thank you, Brad, for being in the league of best friends and best teachers my kid will ever know in this life.

Rest in peace...

I hope everyone has a great weekend (now that I've posted such a downer, sorry! Had to get it out), and make sure you tell the people around you how much you love them. You just never know in this life... 

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