Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Accounting

I am counting up the tally
Of the past few weeks
Three deaths
Three women
Three moms
All too young

Two of cancer
They each had some time
To get used to the idea
Of life without them in it

One in a car accident
There was no "getting used to it"
It happened in an instant

What about my little family of three?

What would happen if I wasn't here?
Who would clean the dust?
Who would cook the food?
Who would hold it all together?

My family can last for a week alone, but how would they do if it was forever?

Three women have died
Two cancers, one accident
Three men are now widowers
Five children no longer have mothers

Numbers don’t really help
Except to get it straight in my mind
It really happened
Numbers don’t lie, after all

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


An Orthodox Jewish teenager is currently missing in an affluent suburb of Boston. There has been a community-wide social media blitz, and every time I open Facebook I see a disturbing number of re-posts about this event. Part of the reason for the high publicity level is that the boy is the son of a local newspaper columnist, so perhaps the father's fame has added to the high level of community awareness.

I feel like we are being left in the dark about a number of points: did this young man have a recent fight with his family? was he upset about something? was he depressed? did he have other mental health issues? was something going on with a girl that he liked? with friends? was he suicidal?

It is not unheard of that someone "runs away" for a while, although probably much less likely in the Orthodox community in Boston. Could this young man have caught a bus or train to another city? Could he be staying with a friend, hiding out? It has been extremely cold here, so I'm sure his family is frantic that he is outside, which would not be a good thing. 

The whole thing leaves me feeling unsettled. Why would a 16 year old just suddenly disappear? Didn't he have anyone he could talk to about whatever it is that is bothering him? Why was his only option to run away?

Recently, two young women from nearby suburban towns went missing, and then both were found dead by suicide. 

Time will tell, but this story is making me uneasy.