The Call - Cascade *

16 Jan 2011

          I'd been trying to message her all morning, but she didn't answer. At some point her new boyfriend called and said he was worried.  He'd been to a football game with friends, and when they'd last spoken she had sounded too sad. We talked about her adventuresome spirit, and I assured him that she was probably okay - just playing music with some new friends. I was wrong.
          There can be no good news when the caller ID says Medical Examiner. I knew I knew I knew. My heart and soul - every cell, every point of awareness, every thought - were screaming when I answered the phone, and for some reason I got down on the floor to talk. I listened to this man’s gentle voice introducing himself and asking my name. On my knees with my forehead on the wood floor. He said he was so sorry. He asked if she had been sad. I whisper-asked him if he was sure. I asked him how. I was destroyed.

          In those moments I comprehended the depth of her pain over losing her baby. I had lost my first true love. I felt beyond dead.
         The coroner said goodbye. By then Darrell was with me on the floor. We stayed there and cried together for a long time. We waited and waited. A long time later - somehow we'd gotten to the couch - we said we needed to tell the kids. We called our other children and broke their hearts. We made our kids cry and scream. I felt like a monster.
          I called a sibling. He called a sibling. I messaged her dearest friends from childhood. I didn't have her old boyfriend's contact number anymore. So later I told the rest of the people in the most modern fashion. 
I posted on her FB page that she had died.

Erica KitzmanComment