February 18th, Year of Silence

Some things were meant to end abruptly. A relationship, an experience, a life. Virginia is dead. It was a collision, head-on and gruesome. I have heard the details from her father, who believes he is at fault, after making a pact with the Santa Muerte; the terms of which he could not follow through on. He is obsessed with the idea that his daughter was taken away as punishment.

Of course, this was no collection of debt by a folk saint. This was a woman kept awake for days by her drug of choice, and coming down on the road. This was a methamphetamine mistake that ended her life, severely injuring two others. Now, her children will grow up parented by a grandmother who has already done too much, and perhaps that is where she went wrong. This grandmother will continue to provide, as she has always done. And I think, does this matter? Could it? The children’s father, lost to suicide. Their mother, lost to a different kind of suicide. Their future is not brightly lit by any kind of hope.

I have been kept awake by flashing images of her suffering. I half-expect to see her by my bedside, seeking out a company that eluded her when she was alive. In the last year, there were few she could turn to. We were all driven away by her addiction.

I do not make the rules. If I did, a woman would not lose her life at twenty-three. Not so with so much terror shaking the beat out of her heart. Not so far from her mother.

All that is left to say is: Goodnight, Virginia.

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February 18th, Year of Silence

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