Saturday, December 17, 2011

Love and Loss

Last night I spent the night at Paige's house. This morning, Elizabeth got a message from her sister saying that someone had been run over by the train. It isn't uncommon around here for people to be hit by that train. In fact, the Chapel Hill Ghost Light, a popular urban legend here, is about a man who had his head sliced off by the train and now spends every night looking for it with his lantern. When I was about seven or eight, we lived in a house very close to the tracks. One day when we went out walking, we saw police cars and an ambulance, the train was stopped next to the place where cars could drive over the tracks. On the tracks, there was a dark black tarp. Now I'm sure that it was a body bag, but then I don't think I really understood. The man that died that day was walking on the tracks when he was hit. He'd been listening to his Walkman. 
Sometime early this morning, a car was crossing over the tracks. They didn't see the train coming and it smashed into them, throwing the car completely off the tracks. When the police got there, they had to cut the bodies out of the car. The bodies belonged to a grandmother and her eight year old grandson. The grandmother and youngest brother of a boy that is in my grade. 

I know that my last post was a sad one, and usually I try to have equal amounts of happy and sad posts, but sometimes life gets in the way of that. 
I talked about how empathetic I am in the last post and a good example of that happened today.
Because when I told Elizabeth how it happened and she said she was going to cry, I said I wasn't but that I was all very depressing. When she said that, I didn't feel like crying. 
I felt like throwing up. 

What must that have been like? Was the boy in my grade, we'll call him Jerry, awake when they crossed the tracks? Or was he still asleep like we were when Elizabeth got the message. 
It's so close to Christmas time. I can't even imagine how he must feel, knowing that there were so many things that could have been done differently to stop that awful thing from happening. 
His dad died just a few years ago. 
What were the last words he said to either of them? 
God, I can't imagine any of this without feeling sick. 
If my brother died, I would be so lost. If anyone in my family died, I would have such a hard time dealing with their loss. 
Because even though we fight all the time, I would feel so alone without them. 
My mom brought up a good point the other day.
We have been so incredibly lucky to not have lost anyone in our close family yet. 
I've got all of my grandparents. My aunts and uncles. My mom and dad. My brother. 
Thousands die every day, and not a single one of them has been a member of my family yet. 
That makes me feel like a weight is hanging over my head. Ready to drop at any moment, and crush some of the happiness that I've been so blessed to have. 
If my parents died, or my brother died, I don't think I would talk to anyone for a very long time. 
Not really talk anyway. I would be silent. 
I think it would be even longer until I laughed again. 

For someone to die so young, without ever truly living their life... It's just so impossible to comprehend for me. 
It just seems so wrong. 
It seems wrong for some people to have so much, and for others to lose everything. 
I know I'll never understand why things are the way they are, but I really think something is going to have to change in my life. 
Everyday, I am going to write something about my life. Maybe not on this blog, maybe just for my eyes to see. But I'm going to write one thing every day that I cherish in life. 
Moments like that happen every so often. Once, I spent a day down at the river by myself. Just lying on the dock and watching the river flow. 
That put things, if only for a few moments, into perspective for me. 
That river has been flowing for hundreds of years and when I'm dead and gone, it will probably still be flowing. 
I don't mater to that river. I'm as insignificant as the little minnows that swim along the banks where the water is shallow. It was just like today, when I heard about how it happened, we were shopping. I started thinking more and more about it. And I looked around. Everyone was going about with their lives. Totally oblivious to the fact that an eight year old boy and his grandmother will never get to see another Christmas. He'll never have another birthday. He'll never get to grow up. 
In the big picture, our lives are so seemingly insignificant. But to each other, we mean so much. 
No one knows the reason we're here, if they did I'm sure they'd speak up. But for whatever reason it is that we live such short lives, I hope I can make the most of it. 

Peace, love, and life, 


  1. The headless story was really getting to me, my english name is Jerry. Most of my classmates and old friends call me by that name, so when I read Jerry, I was thinking this is a bad omen >.< and I read it last night so I was just all over the place in my semi-dark room.

    I agree that our lives seem so insignificant when we broaden our perspective. I guess that's why people say in the end all we have are the people around us, but I don't think that's bad because people around us are all that matters. The people we don't connect to as often such as the reported deaths on the news, has less of an impact on us even if their death is presented directly in front of us. The insignificance of one life compared to the rest of the world really pushes us to think that we are working for a higher cause. What that is I do not know, but I hope one day I will get a little closer.

    It might be strange that thinking about this topic makes me realize the power of a united force. We all know that united we are stronger. We just never think of it in terms of death. The death of one person might make the news. The death of a group of people will make history. I understand this is a touchy subject, bear with me. Sadly, the fact still remains, whether we die in a group or alone, our individual deaths are still insignificant. However, the death of a group of people will be categorized, such as the Holocaust, then and only then will it have an everlasting effect on humanity. Our individual deaths are insignificant especially when we are one death of many, but each death comes together and forms a greater cause.
    Now I will proceed to attempt to lessen the weight of this heavy topic by inserting a smiley, like so.

    Sara, your blog seems to be lost in this life and death scenario, which is great! We must question the meaning of our being to become true individuals of society. However, on a more personal note, I hope everything with you is well. The death of Jerry (how eerie, to type my own name in context of the death ~.~) and other current events revolving around your life seems to constantly throw you back and forth between life and death.

    Sara, I just want to know that you are getting your healthy dose of happiness as well. Yes, yes, I do not know you on such a personal note, but that doesn't mean I can not worry. It is the same reason why we would help a complete stranger up after he/she falls.

    You know? I really should stop answering your posts with what seems to be another post. Why can't I write this much so easily for essays??? >.<

    Happiness, Sara ^.^

  2. Hahaha, well, I'm sorry to have freaked you out with that name choice. His name is no where near Jerry, that was just the first name I thought of.

    Don't worry about posting long comments, I'm so happy when I get on my blog and see that I have more comments to read! I agree with you, it would be so much easier if essays were always about the things that I find interesting. I could write ten pages in no time.

    You know what is really strange? Just three days before this happened, my world history teacher asked us to write at least a full page on a what-would-you-do scenario. Know what thee scenario was?
    "Imagine if there is a speeding train rushing towards 10 people who are tied down to the track. Their death is certain if the train maintains its course. You can prevent that from happening if you flip the lever and divert the train to another track, where one person is tied down to the track. Assuming you cannot release the individuals, would you let 10 people die or kill one person to save 10 people."
    It was pretty much that, but instead our question had four people in a car vs. one person in a car. Which do you let live?

    Now, the teacher's answer was a whole lot different than my own. He said, "Obvious. Let the train continue towards the car with the four people in it. If I hadn't seen this in the first place, it still would have hit them.
    But you see, that isn't the way I was thinking of he whole scenario.
    I thought, if I had just stumbled across these train tracks and I knew what was about to happen, how could I just stand there doing nothing at all?
    I would have to pull the switch and let the train run over the car with only one person inside.
    Because, I would be so guilty either way. Guilty of doing nothing to stop those four deaths, or guilty of killing one person.
    The reason i answered the way I did, was because, four everyday people most likely have a greater over all effect on other people's lives rather than one.
    I couldn't live with myself knowing I had just stood back and watched as a train plowed through ten people. Took away ten futures.
    So in that scenario, I chose to only take away one.
    I easily wrote two and a half pages on that question, while my classmates struggled to write one. :)

    Thanks for being worried, but there's really nothing to be worried about. I think about stuff like that all the time. Especially lately, with everything that's been happening.
    But I promise, the next blog post will be back to my normal, happy self. :)


  3. I can not possible write a long comment, but I wanted to add to this a little. Have you ever noticed that people get all freaked over if some big political leader gets assassinated. People flip out, and I mean EVERYONE, right? Well when stuff like this happens, a lot of people are depressed and sad for that person and their family, but not on a national scale scale, ya know? (Me and my friends were really sad because the little kid's brother wasn't at school that day, he's in one of my classes)So that kinds of brings me to reality. I mean, what does Obama have over us? A political office and maybe a little more money. That's it. He's not any better than us! A lot of people would flip if Obama all the sudden got killed, even of natural causes! I would to though. All I'm saying is that bigwig people's lives shouldn't be any more significant than ours.

  4. Man, I can't spell or write...v.v

  5. No one's saying that President Obama is any better than the rest of us, but he is our president. It would be terrible if he was assassinated because he represents our country as a whole.
    Of course people would flip out if the President died. It's happened in the past, and every single time the entire country has mourned for them.
    The reason people notice political leader's deaths more, is because their death affects people n a global scale. Not just on a small, hometown scale.
    And our President never has anything "over us", people are so ignorant sometimes in thinking that the President has more power than he actually does. People are ignorant period.
    If I were 18, I would definitely vote for Obama to be elected for a second term. He's doing a great job.

  6. Merry Christmas, Sara!

    I wish for you a happy, happy holiday :)

  7. I didn't mean to hurt feelings if I did. I'm neutral when it comes to politics. It's just not my thing. I think, though, that Obama is doing a good job,too. I never said he wasn't. I was just saying that I don't think that enough people recognize a death like this. It would be horrible, yes, if he was assassinated. The entire country, including me, would grieve. Yes, now that I think about it, maybe his life IS a little more important than ours.
    Sorry that I upset you, Sara. You know I wouldn't mean to.

  8. You didn't upset me Chynna! Trust me, it takes a whole lot more than that to make me angry. And you don't want to see me angry. Heh... I sound like the Hulk :)
    Happy New Years!

  9. You too (is that it?!) ((grammar isn't my thing either)) , Sara! You do sound like the Hulk... :)
    Nice blog change! It looks good. I change mine almost every time I get on it. I'm a seasonal-holiday kind person, I guess...