I am not sure how I can handle the news that I got. One of my best friends was killed in a car accident. Right now I don’t know all the details. His wife called me in tears and I fell to my knees when I got the news. I am numb right now. Literally, I am not sure how I will cope with this once the shock wears off.
Don was the type of friend that one dreams about. We met while we were together for a few months while in the Navy. We became friends almost instantly. He told me all about his wife and their 1st child who was due soon after he got off the ship. That child, a girl, started college this year after a straight-A trip through high school. I can only imagine her hurt at this time. Don and I were separated, as the Navy often does to friends. It was a few years later, while I was still on the ship in Norfolk that I got a call to come to the quarterdeck, the place where everyone arrives and departs the ship. It was Don, checking up to see if I was still there. We made certain to exchange addresses and phone numbers. This began the friendship that lasted well beyond the Navy. He and his wife met Hal and we became members of their extended family. Since 2001, we have spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. We have watched Brianne become the beautiful and intelligent young woman who began college. We have watched their son Connor grow up since he was born in 2005.The least we can do is to invite them to Thanksgiving with us this year because this tragedy has come too close to the holidays.
Life is fair, but it can still be a bitch without feelings. I am struggling to get myself together before calling Nicola back this evening. I did manage to talk to Nicola for a few minutes, and I could recognize the numbness in her voice that replaced the agony of a few hours previously. Hal and I promised to do everything we possibly can to help her and the kids out.
The next morning has not helped me to get out of the deep place that I was sent to yesterday. I still cannot believe that Don is gone, wiped out in an instant. He was a true and special friend, and he will never be forgotten. His kids will carry his legacy on, as tough as that will be on them initially. Hal and I have promised to be there for both of them as well.
There is no sense to be made of this, just a sense of loss and grief that I will have to overcome as time goes by. Losing a close friend just tears me apart, but I know that I have to go on as best I can and learn to accept what has happened.