Murder, the new and present stranger

I have experienced the loss of life due to natural circumstances and even suicide but *murder, now this type of death is a new and present stranger to me.

*mur·der
/ˈmərdər/
Noun
The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.
Verb
Kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation.
Synonyms
noun. homicide – assassination – killing – manslaughter
verb. kill – slay – assassinate – slaughter – butcher

There is pounding on the front door I can hear it in the distance as a man who resembles my ex son in law sits on the edge of my bed while tightly gripping my shoulders he shakes me, “Ma, Ma!” I awaken startled by the intensity in his eyes blue, to green to black and my mind is reeling with word “No, no, NO”! and it dawns on me, she is dead.
Alert, sitting straight up in bed, I realize this is a nightmare, only a nightmare. And I begin to pray.

Seven and half hours later my son notifies me of her disappearance. The nightmare, it was about her and there was no one I could share it with besides, no one is going to believe she reached out to me in this way. Many days ensued filled with tension and suspense as the search was on. Sleepless nights filled with nightmares and bumps in the night causing me to shoot straight up in the bed, my heart pounding away within my chest.

And though the standard coping mechanisms were tried they failed to ease the darkness which had begun to fill my belly. You know that darkness, deep within and pounding away the very words, we dread to hear. Whisperings of worst case scenarios flitting through my vivid imagination and hours of prayer to banish the very thoughts. I was on a vicious cycle destined for collision with reality whence it finally comes and could do nothing about it and so I prayed.

For weeks following her death I see his eyes looming above mine but it wasn’t my son in laws eyes I saw, it was his. And it wasn’t my screams I heard, it was hers.

I spent four days reviewing our phone chats, the photos we sent to and from and lastly the emails. The dreaded emails. I knew those last few were coming up, the ones before the make up. The ones she took such great offense to, the ones I couldn’t seem to get right. I simply let the matter rest and the dust settle thinking, “we can resolve it later”.

I reached out to her the day before she disappeared and she flooded my email with photos of my grand daughter’s first birthday party. I took joy in the photos and we broke ground on new conversation revolving around the children and the birthday party. I had no idea this would be the last time she and I would communicate…

Friends, do your best to keep a clean slate with your loved ones. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, not even this minute. So resolve to love, live and let live and if there is a tomorrow resolve to do it again. Time is of the essence and is never promised.

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