Dealing with Death Wednesday - a tirade
Yesterday night Noelle didn't come home. I worried about her. Even though I figured she was staying at her friend Leda's house. Noelle is 19. Old enough to think that she doesn't have to check in every single minute of the day with me. I have a hard time with that. Cristina and Alysha, her older sisters, know that 19 is not my magic cut off number. Because I still call them and ask where they are every single day as well.
Today am working on two different cases where two kids Noelle's age, didn't come home ever again. Here's the story of one of them.
S was actually a year younger than Noelle. He and two buddies went to a 7-11 to pick up some candy and chips. Happily munching their snacks as they walked home, they were mowed down from the rear by a drunk driver. Once this despicable individual (and his buddy) stumbled out of their junker and realized what they hit was human, they got back in and fled the scene. Until they hit a tree. And eventually were caught.
Now, I don't learn all this simply by talking to people. Or having Bryson my investigator tell me what people said to him. No. I learn it by re-living it. Scour ever sentence of the 376 page police report. Examine at zoom-in level each photo. Study each line of the Medical Examiner's report - googling all the medical terms to make sure I get it. Look at the broken covered body of S. Look at the broken uncovered body of S. Look at every single thing there is to see. And it is overwhelming. And sad. And devasting as I think of his family. In particular his father who raised him after he was deserted by his mother.
At times am crying. This young person died on a cold, hard, road. The last person to look at him before he left this world, was a police officer. There was no one to whisper words of love. To hold him. To kiss him goodbye.
And then I get angry.
Angry at the insurance company who says there is no case.
Angry at The State of Washington for disrespecting the family. For drawing a fake line in the sand. That a parent has no rights when their child is killed if that child is over 17 years old. That a parent's right to the love, care, companionship, and affection of their child vanishes on a birthday.
Noelle calls to say she's on her way home. And somehow, I need to put S and his dad and all these details and images out of my mind. And try not to drive her batty with my over-protective instincts borne of an elemental love - that the State of Washington could care less about.