Sunday, August 14, 2005


I watched the local (UT, not WY) news tonight, after a teaser for the ten'o'clock news during Desperate Housewives flashed a picture of Justin's smiling wife, Julie, in skydiving gear. I had already heard, thank God, or it would have been far more traumatic. I still hated hearing the cookie-cutter newsbitch dramatically curdle up her voice to tell the tragic tale of a young wife and mother killed in a freak accident, but I couldn't not watch. On one hand, I wonder what the hell people who have small children are thinking when they knowingly do something most insurance policies won't cover, jumping out of a plane in the name of fun. I don't think there's any such thing as a skydiving victim, as the headline so dramatically suggests. On the other hand, I saw them at Wally's two or three weekends ago, and we said we don't see enough of each other. And she was awfully good with her children, one of those women who pay attention to the little things they say and do, looks at them with an adoring expression for the benefit of no one else, includes them, hugs them. That was the impression I got from the short time I spent with her. I'm thinking of them tonight, and hoping they bring Justin the peace he's going to desperately need.Julie's children's faces reflect her habitual bright expression.

This town has certainly had its share of tragedy this year, and so have I. And yet, I've found I have a natural knack for grief, and in a healthy way. I find comfort in facing the sadness, distilling the goodness of memories, and building a platform of strength from the pain. It's okay to cry. It's okay to inspect regrets. Just take them and make yourself better, and don't expect it to be easy. This isn't something that can be taught though, so Justin will have to find his own way. I'm confident he will.


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