When Elena died, Kim and I wondered if it would be easier if there was someone to blame.
It turns out, as we guessed, it isn’t.
A week after Elena died, another young girl in our town died along with her maternal grandparents in a car crash.
The mom was driving the van filled with her parents and one of her daughters on their way to see her son before his unit was deployed.
A car rear ended them with such force that the daughter and grandparents were killed. The mom woke up in the hospital to learn of her loss and try to make sense of it all.
Elena died. The girl and her grandparents were killed. Someone was responsible for their death. The details of what the other driver was doing before the crash weren’t comforting in any way.
Neither us nor the other family could answer the question “why”, but they were left with a lot of “what ifs.”
What if they’d been at that location a minute earlier or a minute later?
What if the other driver hadn’t been engaged in something that distracted him from driving?
What if …
With Kim’s death we have a semi filled with what ifs.
I prefer to leave them unopened.
There are so many things that had they been just a little different, Kim would be alive and well today.
Father Gary, Kim’s priest, offered comfort by not trying to explain it as “God’s will.”
He dug deep for the right words ten years ago with his words at Elena’s funeral and once again found the right words two weeks ago at Kim’s funeral.
He spoke to the family and to the community that lost Kim and spoke to us with the voice of someone who shared the loss with us.
I’ve posted his homily as a separate blog post today. Each day this week I will post the eulogies from the friends and family that shared thoughts at Kim’s funeral.
None of the “what ifs” change “what is”.
I leave the “what ifs” unopened and try to remember how happy I was with “what was.”