A Grievous Loss

I don’t know if this is news outside of Los Angeles, but it’s a story that has a lot of meaning in our home.

A very nice 17 year old girl was killed Friday. She went to the same school members of my family go to, so it seems a little closer to us, even though I didn’t know Lily Burk. But one thing I have learned of late is when you read about something bad in the paper that something bad happened to someone, it really has. I know that seems obvious, but when I read bad things, sad, hard things I think I try to think of ways in which they don’t affect me. To try to keep me safe. Like, “Well, I wouldn’t have gone hang gliding in a rainstorm.”  Or, “Well maybe they got some insurance money for their house in the hurricane zone.”

Being a victim of the Madoff thing taught me that. And I certainly can’t detach from this story. She was only a few miles from where we live, it was broad daylight when some piece of shit abducted her to try to get some money.  Her body was found the next day.

She is an only child and the pain her parents are in is unimaginable. My sister said today she couldn’t sleep last night for thinking of their pain. Mark and I did sleep, but when we would wake they were the first the thing we thought of. It’s too scary, too sad.

How would one ever get past this? Really, why would one? A death is hard in of itself, but their child was murdered. A National Merit Scholar, she had the lead in the school play, she was somebody. There are no words, and I can’t help but personalize it. I can’t but think, “How do you keep your children safe?”  She was driving errands in what is reported to be the the third safest city in America (NYC and San Jose are ahead). She wasn’t a solider who died saving others. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

All that love and care her parents lavished on her. The joy she brought them… ah, I ‘m sorry I’m not funny today. Another day… but my heart is heavy for this family and terrified for my own.

5 thoughts on “A Grievous Loss

  1. You don’t have to be funny every day, Daphne. Life has it’s curveballs it throws at people. We had a young girl here last week, only 18, she worked at a convenience store. A lazy ass drove right through the front of the store and struck and killed her while she worked, because he didn’t want to have to get out of his car and pay for gas, so he got back in and wanted to drive as close as possible to go inside and pay. He says he lost control while he tried to pull his wallet out of his pocket.

    And now this family’s 18 yr old beautiful daughter, who was working for the summer before college, is dead.

  2. I read this post, and the page you linked to, with a sinking heart. Today I’ve been thinking about a girl called Amy Leigh Barnes. The headline this morning was that her boyfriend has been sentenced to life for her murder. It’s a ‘story’ that many of us in the UK have been horrified by. More than just Amy’s suffering, the awful, awful things that her parents saw and have had to deal with are just terrible.
    Young life being suddenly and violently snuffed out… it happens all over the world, and it is monstrous.
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8160701.stm).

    Sorry to be so depressing, it just really struck a chord that we’ve all been thinking about these different girls.

  3. I know. I was speaking to one of our security guys at work today who is a retired County Sheriff. He was saying that statistically LA is safer than it was 40 years ago. I believe that, but I know the one time I was held up it was in a neighborhood that had seen crime in ten years. just some bad luck. And literally, so close to home

    You don’t think in daylight, off a busy street this will happen. I still can’t shove it to the side of my brain. It’s like if I think about what occured maybe I can make it have a different outcome. Totally irrational obviously. There will be no corrective emotional experience.

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