This will be Tough, but I will B-Strong
I knew this was coming, but you're still never really prepared for horrible news. Lindsay Bolger, a beautiful, strong, driven, intelligent, courageous, passionate and unfortunately unhealthy young woman passed away last week. Tomorrow morning I will sit in church with no doubt hundreds of other people and say a final goodbye to an incredible young woman. She was taken too soon. As a writer you avoid cliches, but sometimes their meaning is so true, you've got to throw them in there. The good die young. Sucks that cliches originated as honest explanations of events. That means that a LOT of good people had to die young in order for a cliche to be coined. There's another one if you're keeping track. Cliche, that is. Sadly, another young person taken too soon also. I never liked math. People use a lot of cliches when they express condolences also. Weird, eh?
Reading her obituary yesterday was unreal. How could I be staring at such words? How can this be true? The image of Lindsay with a beaming smile and shiny blonde hair filled my monitor and I had to blink. How can that be a picture of some who has passed away? She was only 26. She had everything going for her, except a nasty brain tumor took that away from her and then she was taken away from us all. How do you write your child's obituary? My heart is torn to shreds knowing that the Bolgers had to take pen to paper and think of what they could say that would capture the spirit Lindsay had. It's unnatural to lose a child. It's not supposed to happen that way. My cousin said that when my mom died our nanny started screaming that she had lost her baby. I wasn't there for that terrifying scene, but just thinking about my sweet, gentle, little grandmother wailing like that shakes me to the core. I can't even imagine how Lindsay's parents must be feeling right now. Probably not much - yet. There's a numbness that comes from losing someone so dear and so tragically. It was a blessing for Lindsay to have passed away as peacefully as she did, but it's still an absolute tragedy that it happened in the first place. It takes a while for the reality to set in.
I've been to a lot of funerals. The first one was my mom's. When a young person dies, there is a strong shared sorrow and lack of understanding. "How can He let something like this happen?" people wonder. "This isn't fair." you say to one another, trying to find some comfort. Not that you ever "look forward" to a funeral, but I'm especially dreading this one. I know the church will be packed and the flood of tears that will spill down pale cheeks could run for eternity. It's hard to be amongst that kind of grief, but it's part of life. We share our sorrow in hopes that our burdens will be shared also. I'm hoping to find comfort in knowing that Lindsay is in a better place now. And yet another cliche. Her obituary is truly beautiful and I promise if you read it, you'll be amazed at how wonderful Lindsay was. Do I say 'was' or 'is?' 'Was' seems to final, 'is' makes it seem like she's still here.
The picture I included with this blog is from a wedding last summer. Lindsay was radiant in that dress and she spent the entire night dancing. We had a blast. This is how I will remember her. Recently, I was looking at photos of Lindsay at her brother's wedding and I had that feeling in my gut. She was transformed. She was no longer the strong, athletic Lindsay I knew. She was frail, she was tired and she had a look I recognized from my mother when the end was near. I call it "the cancer look." It scares me to see people look like that and those images really shook me up. I messaged Rach right away to say that when I arrived at her condo I'd need a stiff drink that evening. Later that week Lindsay passed away at home, surrounded by friends and family. Even writing this now brings me to tears. I can't bear to really think about it quite yet. I wasn't nearly as close to Lindsay as so many other people were, but I've always felt really lucky to have met her and spent time with her. I'll carry her in my heart forever and I promise to B-Strong.