Today friends and family will gather to celebrate the life of Rachel. Rachel was 20 years old. She was killed by a drunk driver last Sunday.
I didn’t know Rachel. In fact, I only met her once. Her mom is an acquaintance of mine from a Mom’s Club that I belong to. Nevertheless, I am devastated. Selfishly, I am overcome by the realization that it could’ve been my child that was killed. It could be me and my family releasing butterflies as part of a memorial to my child’s life and spirit. It could be me receiving meals from friends trying to offer the smallest amount of solace at such a time of tragedy. It could be me trying to help my other children learn to live again after such a loss. It makes me want to throw up.
Since I heard the news, nearly every time I interact Olivia, I can’t help but think of Rachel’s mom. I imagine her holding three year old Rachel. I imagine her reading to Rachel. I imagine her getting frustrated with Rachel for some small annoyance, and how she must long for the opportunity to go back and relive every moment, good or bad. What would she give for one more chance to hug Rachel? It is unimaginable.
I feel grateful and guilty at the same time. Grateful that all three of my children are currently safe and sound. Guilty in advance, knowing that life for us will soon return to normal. But not for Rachel or her family.