In the last 48 hours, I've been startled by the death of two women I know.
One of them, I've known fairly well for the last 10 years.
The other I've known by face, enough to say "hi" as we pass at a school event. For awhile I wasn't even sure of her name. But I've admired her from a far. She's lived a more exotic life than I have, she's gorgeous, seemed to be living a charmed, hip life. I've made a couple of mental notes to become a friend to her, because I wanted some of her "cool" to rub off on me.
This morning she took her own life.
Obviously, her life wasn't as I imagined in it's entirety. She was troubled on some very deep level. Hearing news of her death actually made shout "oh my god" at work. She has school-age children. I can't imagine being so desperate that I couldn't see my way to keep living for their sake. I'm grateful that I don't understand it. I have real sorrow for those who do know where you go to that dark, dark place. Please reach out for help if you do, I wish she had.
The other woman is a wonderful friend and mother who I'm sure would've done anything to have one more day with her child. Saturday morning she was found dead, victim of an apparent but unexpected heart attack.
Both deaths shock me and make me infinitely sad that these two interesting, warm, genuine women don't walk the playgrounds around me anymore.
I just can't shake the feeling of tragedy for their children. I expect the stories of their deaths will haunt them for years, and be told over and over. I can't imagine the void ever gets filled.