January 24, 2012, I was walking in the door, my land line was ringing. The ring tone indicated a family member. I rushed to get the call. It was my sister-in-law, Martha. She asked, "Did you know that Rose's daughter was having surgery today?"
I promptly filled her in on all the details that I knew. She then said, "Anna is gone."
My chest was ripped apart as I yelled, "WHAT! How can this be? I just talked to Rose and Anna on Friday?"
"I don't know the details," she responded softly, "your brother got the call and I thought you should know."
Tears poured as I asked, "Who is with Rose?"
"I don't know?" Martha replied. "How do you wrap your head around losing your child?"
This has been the shock that is reverberating throughout my family. Sisters, cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, all communicating and discussing this horrible news. This news that rendered the family in emotional paralysis. No one can speak without tears about the loss of this beautiful 34 year old woman of many accomplishments. Furthermore, no one knows how to comfort her mother. How does one comfort a mother who has lost a child?
When I checked my messages after speaking to Martha, I hear Rose's message to me. Her voice was strained because she could hardly breath as she said, "Anna is gone."
Even today, I can't listen to the entire message. Her pain is so deep. It tears at your very being. You feel her loss, your own loss, and the losses of the past, present, and future simultaneously.
Death at any age is not easy. Death out of the natural order of life, now can you ever wrap your head around that?