The Week of October 8th - October 14th


Words according to Nicky, SHE III, and Raven Vanguard’s Student of Design

Death and I are old friends. We have a love/hate relationship. He takes things from me, and I hate him, yet those things made me who I am, helped me mature beyond my years, and I think, gave me a greater understanding of the world than most people my age. My relationship with death makes me especially sensitive to news stories that end in tragedy. Unlike Brooke, from our last Weekly Once-over, I am unable to turn a blind eye to these news stories. Perhaps I’m a masochist, but as she said, “shit happens” and I can’t bring myself to look away from it. I feel a personal connection, not so much to those who have passed (because I’m evidently not dead), but to the ones they’ve left behind, as I’ve already worn those shoes more times than a 23 year should have to.

This past weekend, 20 people were killed in a limousine crash in central NY, not too far from Raven’s headquarters resulting in the deadliest US transportation accident in almost a decade. News reports have suggested that the limo had recently failed inspection, and the driver didn’t even have the correct license to operate the vehicle. The limousine company is also alleged to have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to complying with vehicle safety regulations, and questions have been raised about cutting corners and neglecting passenger safety. Having the potential to make the ongoing investigation more complicated, the owner of the company is not presently in this country. If this is true, he might never face any consequences for his actions, which may have taken the lives of 20 people. My first reaction to hearing the news story over the radio on my way to work earlier this week was complete anger. How could someone be so careless of human life? I can only imagine the outrage that the loved ones of these victims are feeling. 

I understand that anger that comes with death. Seeking blame is natural when you’ve lost a loved one. When the reality of my mother’s death set in, I found myself repeatedly kicking a love seat in her living room screaming until my boyfriend pulled me away. I didn’t do that out of grief. I was angry… so so angry(a side effect of grief I suppose). How could the world do this to me again so soon after the loss of my dad? And why? I don’t deserve this. But what did I gain from kicking that love seat? Nothing; aside from a temporary release of emotion and a large greenish-purple bruise on my shin that I got to wear to my mom’s funeral.

Although I hope that those who are responsible for this tragedy are located and brought to justice, with the owner now out of the country, it’s unclear if he ever will. I’m an empath. In situations like these, I find myself wishing I could reach out to the people directly affected and console them. I suppose I could, in this age of social media, but my words would mean nothing to them. They are likely already flooded with the same generic messages (“I’m so sorry for your loss”, “they’re in a better place”, “praying for you and your family”, etc.) from everyone they’ve ever met, from their close friends to their second grade English teacher whom they haven’t seen in over a decade.

The only hope I have for the loved ones of the victims is that they don’t let the anger consume them, which can be so easy. Letting go of the anger you feel doesn’t mean you’re letting go of the person you’ve lost. You will be a better person than you were before because you will be able to see the value of life and what is truly important. Sure, that’s not what you want; life lessons learned will never fill the giant hole in your heart left behind by your loved one, but perhaps one day you will be able to help someone who is hurting as you are now.