I woke up in the middle of the night last night (this morning, really), some part of my being attuned to the emptiness in our eighteen year-old son’s room next door.  Turning on the light I read for a couple hours, reading Saffron Dreams, about a Muslim widow of 9/11, her husband in the towers, the senseless end of a beloved’s life, her trying to make sense of the world in its aftermath.

Around 5:30 am I heard noises, my son and his friend finally arriving home. Unusually he came in the bedroom, white as a sheet.

“What happened? Where have you been?”

He looked a decade older than he did when he left the house hours before, headed to a party ‘for some downtime after that eighty hour work week.’  Our youngest son is taking a gap year and has been working seven days a week for months, saving for college and a future elsewhere. This child has always been sensible, mature for his years.

“Someone got stabbed at the party, I saw him die right in front of me.”

My son’s friend had blood on his clothes.

Someone’s child is gone, just like that.

I know it’s nothing new, murder, death - and the real horror is reserved for the family; my deepest sympathy and internal shock is for this young man’s parents, his family.

But, for my teenage son to have witnessed a murder, death….

I woke up again later this morning, my mind remembering for the first time the day soon after my father died, when I found my mother crying, alone, in her darkened bedroom. She wasn’t crying for herself at that moment, she was crying for my sister, who saw our father die right in front of her. She was seventeen.

In an entirely different situation, I finally understand the tiniest bit of that pain my mother had that moment; pain for her child witnessing the terrible.


That young man gone so fast, so senselessly. Details unknown, other than assailant was caught.

'Why?' whirls around in my brain.


That’s all the words I have at the moment…



Hug your people, folks.



Views: 483

Comment by Anna Herrington on November 6, 2016 at 12:39pm

Thank you for listening/reading.

Comment by Phyllis on November 6, 2016 at 12:46pm

Horrible. I hope your son comes through okay.

Comment by nerd cred on November 6, 2016 at 1:35pm

I'm sad for you both.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on November 6, 2016 at 2:12pm

Tough to see, to take in, any age. Glad he has you.

Comment by Boanerges on November 6, 2016 at 2:27pm

Horrible, just horrible. I too have seen people die and people dead -- it's something you never really ever forget. I feel for your son, and for you. My best to both of you, and condolences to the family of the victim.

Comment by Julie Johnson on November 6, 2016 at 3:01pm

..oh no...

Hugs to you, Anna.  And, your son. 

Comment by Rosigami on November 6, 2016 at 3:06pm

How awful. That poor mother, beyond words. Your son has aged in the process of life, there is no going backward. He will learn to live with what he has experienced, and go forward. I'm so glad you have each other.  

Comment by JMac1949 Today on November 6, 2016 at 3:38pm

No words except watch your son for signs of PTSD.  You don't have to be the victim to suffer the symptoms.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 6, 2016 at 3:41pm

I hope he learns to deal with it. 

Have you checked into counseling? That might be a good idea. That is what used to be called -a way overused term but here it fits - -a paradigm shift.

Comment by Zanelle on November 6, 2016 at 5:53pm

I am so sorry for all of it.  The sadness will be with you a long long time.   My girls were across the bay in Alaska when a girl jumped off the rope swing and hit the boat and died on the way back to town.  My girls grew up that day.  They are adults now and they are careful...I am too.  But I am so so sad that any of us has to have such awakenings.  Give him and all of it...and yourself...lots of room and time.  hugs


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