My Lyft driver knows grief because her estranged father has pneumonia. If that harrowing tale doesn’t give you chills, Charles Dickens’ Punch at Ward Eight will.
I had dinner with a friend whose kids were friends with Constance. After a few adult beverages, she told me a story. The day she brought my bereavement card to my house, her son had a breakdown. He had gotten hysterical the moment she turned onto my street. She hadn’t known what to do because she’d told me she was stopping by. So, she had decided to just quickly drop the card off and rush away.
I recall that day clearly. My mother had been helping me move out of my house and my uncle had been helping oversee some construction. She had given me this card she’d specially ordered for me. It was funny and poignant. I’d had a sofa cushion for a sofa I was taking to Goodwill in my hands. We had hugged in my driveway. She had wished me well. I’d said thank you and she had jumped back in her car and left. At the time, I’d thought that if it was me, I would have just mailed it for fear of getting entangled in a highly emotional situation.
Now that I know what she and her son were dealing with, I want to go back in time and give her a second hug of thanks.
I hope Constance’s friends are able to heal with time. Innumerable people were traumatized by Constance’s death—her family, of course, but also her friends, my friends, her teachers, her therapists, her babysitters, her neighbors, her coaches, her healthcare team, everyone who got to know her and got to know of her. She touched so many lives. She is an unending echo.