I was waiting in the driver’s seat as Matthew was getting in the car and I saw a State Higheay Patrol officer in my mirror. I had been parked long enough to know this was not about my driving. I sat feeling paralyzed knowing but not wanting to believe that I was about to be plunged into another nightmare. Persephone was screaming. I told myself it was something to do with Matthew’s company car as the officer was parked by it but I knew that wasn’t it. I knew the posture I was seeing in both men as I looked in that mirror as eternity passed slowly by. I begged the boys to be quiet. Artemis was asleep. Persephone was still screaming. Matthew came to the door. I looked right at his face but I didn’t see it-it was the exact way I saw his face when he came to pick me up from work the day my sister and my nephew died. I am glad I still can’t see it. I don’t remember what he told me but I know it was facts and something about how there weren’t many facts yet but that the officer told him that both of my parents are dead. At some point I fell to his feet. I heard my own screams and I tried to make them stop because the my children were in the car and they needed to know what was happening. I willed myself to stand up so I could tell them.
I frantically searched for some way to make it not true. I called our friend, Mark, who works as a fireman in the county in which the accident occurred hoping he could call someone to tell me it was all a misunderstanding or a lie. I called our friend, Margaret, who lives very near that place and is a priest and knows people-I was grasping at straws but somehow I hoped she may know it wasn’t true. She and her husband met us in a parking lot near the accident. They held us and we all wept. They offered to have us come to their house but I needed to get to my nephew and niece over a 1 hour drive from there because I needed to be the one to tell them.
It was cold and so dark.
By the time we got there our kids were in shock-they were shaky and talking fast and acting crazed.
Telling them was excruciating. Though they are so grown up their faces looked exactly like they did when their mother died. Their bodies felt the same in my arms and their tears burned through me just the same.
Sleep did not come to me that night and I didn’t even want it to. Sleep can be a terrifying place.
When I looked at Facebook there were already posts and messages. I did my best to say something. All words felt hollow because my soul was hollow.
I wrote this post and then I had to stop. It has been sitting here for weeks so I’m just going to publish it because, at least for now, I don’t want to write anymore about it.
Christine Marie, Daughter of Susan Marie and Leon Anthony