Grief, Life, and Moving Forward
It’s been a rough week.
I meant to continue posting every day, but I admit I got blindsided by a couple of events last week. I will refrain from getting too personal, but as this is my first update in several days, I do want to say a few things. I mentioned that one of my family members passed away last Monday. Even approaching such a joyous event as my wedding (which is this Sunday), the news (though expected) was sudden and shocking. Painful. The feeling of having someone rent away from your life is not pleasant. It hurts, every day.
I took last Thursday off work in order to grieve and spend some time without having to put on a happy face for my tables. I worked my shift in the bar Wednesday night, enjoyed my coworkers as always, and then went home around midnight. I spent Thursday under a rock, working on wedding preparations and feeling subdued. Then came Friday, and I went back to work.
At our sales meeting on Friday, my manager handed me a leaflet about our company’s Employee Assistance Program. I was confused and thought it was because of my family’s current situation. And then he said, “Has everyone here heard about Farid?”
On Wednesday night, not an hour and a half after I left work and said goodbye to him, one of my coworkers was hit from behind as he rode his scooter home. He was critically injured. The young man who hit him drove for a mile, dragging the remains of my friend’s scooter up the pike before the police stopped him. My friend was rushed to the hospital and died from his injuries.
Typing those words hurts. Last night I drove home that same way — many of our friends and coworkers live that way. I saw the intersection where he was hit as he stopped at a red light. And I drove for what seemed like a year before I got to the place where the police finally stopped his killer. How that is even possible, how someone hits another human being and keeps driving with a hole in his windshield, I cannot even fathom. The young man who hit him was under the influence. He’s being charged with three different felony counts, from what I’ve heard. And in my mind and the minds of those who knew and loved Roberto Farid Nassar, nothing can atone for what was such a thoughtless, preventable death.
My writing has been on hold this week. As I get to the end of my second draft, my protagonist is grieving. She has lost people she loves. And after the events of the last week, making my fingers type has hit too close to home.
We’ve all been subdued this week at work. Everyone misses the man who always laughed and smiled, so humble and kind to all of us. The one who told me that when things get hard, they will get better. The one who told all the women that we were beautiful and did it without being creepy or rude about it. The man who stood at the center of our kitchen each night after working at another kitchen during the day, always with a smile on his face. He’s gone forever.
After all that, I have only this to say: if you’ve been drinking, call a cab. Put down your keys. $15 or even $50 is a small price to pay rather than doing 10-15 years in prison, and such a nominal sum is dwarfed infinitely by the cost of a human life. I’m sure that 22-year-old kid didn’t expect to kill someone that night. He’s probably a decent person for the most part, but mark me this. If you drive drunk, you are disregarding not only the law and your own safety, but you are declaring your utter lack of respect for the rest of the people who share the roads. For their families and loved ones and friends and coworkers who will be the ones grieving. Yes, I’m being judgmental. I’m not going to apologize for that. Drunk drivers kill people. Don’t ever, ever do it. Ever.
Farid will be missed by all of us every day. He deserved better. His family, friends, and his work family all grieve for him. We all cared for him and respected him.
Be safe out there. Help save lives by keeping drunk drivers off the roads.