She was alive two days ago. She was talking and emailing and happy. She was being released from a terrible marriage and finally free to pursue the man who loved her and whom she loved. She was going to be in a new place, with her children. She'd just recovered from surgery and was glad to be back among us.

Then yesterday she was dead. Gone. Found hours after she'd died, limp in a bathtub. It's true, no matter what you do, you die alone. Her kids don't know yet. Their mommy is 'sick and resting'. Her kids will never think of that day the same way again. Her kids will have to tell people, oh, my mother passed away.

I'm so sorry...

It's ok, it happened when I was five


I didn't even know her that well. I chatted with her online, shared with her via livejournal, met her at some get togethers, read along as she suffered and rejoiced. And still I'm sad. I'm mourning. Empathy, I think. I'm mourning for her children and what that must feel like. For the man who loves her still and now is alone...suddenly, being forced to tell everyone how he feels and thanking them for their prayers and condolences. What if my husband were to disappear, to die alone, without me holding his hand like I imagine our old age will be?

Why are you so sad? You didn't even know her, someone said.

Is it inappropriate to be sad for someone you don't know? To mourn the death of someone outside your family, your circle, your tribe? Wouldn't we all be better off if we mourned the deaths of strangers like we mourn the deaths of friends? Wouldn't the world be more compassionate?

I can't believe all the shit I complained about yesterday. Eternally stupid shit. And I'll probably do the same today. Odd.