I don’t know yet, what I want to say, what I want to share here about this. Only that I want to put something up, because not to feels like pretending that nothing has changed. And that would be a lie.
My husband’s stepsister Carina died last Tuesday. She was 15. It was a car accident – though late at night, alcohol was apparently not involved – just a stupid mistake that could happen to pretty much anyone – their truck flipped – and they weren’t wearing their seat belts. Please my friends and readers, wear your seat belts. You can never tell what if… but the driver was okay, just from having the steering wheel to hold onto. I think seat belts would have made a difference.
In some ways, I didn’t know her as well as I’d’ve liked, though she came up and spent the weekend with us fairly regularly. She loved to get her picture taken, and it was always either her asking, or me offering. So I had some nice shots to offer – I had some enlargements made for the funeral. I wish I had more. I wish I didn’t have to wish I had more.
I’ve witnessed some remarkable things this past weekend – heard things (good things) said between certain family members I never would’ve expected to hear; maybe most of all been touched by the huge outpouring of grief and food, paper plates and manual labor, flowers, cards, more food, and most of all love in their small town, the town where my husband (and my mother) grew up. I have felt within myself, conflicting feelings of love and faith and perspective, and yet also grief and just feeling so lost and at loose ends sometimes. I know things have really just begun, especially for her mom, her stepdad, her siblings.
Carina — we miss you, your smile and laughter. There’s this Carina-shaped hole in our lives now, and it hurts to see it and feel it. I wish I could hear your laugh again, touch your hair, come up with some crazy photo shoot, maybe another on the roof. I wish you had time to grow out of the occasional teenage sulks and drama, that you could come up here and hang out and be bored at our house, babysit our kiddos again. I wish your little sister and brothers and niece and nephew could hug you and hang on you and drive you crazy. I know you can see it, but I wish you were here to feel your stepdad’s love, and your older brothers’ heartbreak over you. So many things, such depth of feeling, now that you’re gone – I wish there were another way to learn all this.