Tonight I was the hands and feet for my son. A classmate of his was broadsided and killed by a drunk driver last week. Her visitation was very filled with friends and relatives—I chose not to go through the receiving line. I didn’t know her in life—I didn’t feel right looking at her in death. I thought and practiced conversations with her mom three dozen times in the past week—each and every one ended in my weeping—not what her mom needed at a night like this. In the end I signed the registry, including both mine and my son’s name, walked around looking for someone I knew, and stood in the back of the room, watching her mom and staring at her coffin. The photos that were in the reception room were probably still put together from her graduation open house last spring. Her videos from script-writing class are immortalized forever. Tonight I felt and still feel somber: thankful that my 5 children are at home, either sleeping or studying for exams; thankful that my eldest is at school studying his brains out and swimming his heart out. I feel indulgent that I have so many beautiful blessings, and Bethany’s mom is grieving in a way that I never want to understand. I have a wonderful sister that shares her name, one that is too far away for me to hug, which I would do tightly tonight. And tonight, I was an extension of my eldest son, who knew her briefly but will never forget Bethany.
All my best,