Thursday, November 08, 2007

Moved by a really old tragedy

With the advent of the Internet, I periodically find myself googling people from my past to see what they might be up to now. I did this last night, and I kind of wish I hadn't.

In high school I had an on-again-off-again relationship with a somewhat troubled guy. He was a twin. I ended up becoming friends with his brother's wife. The last time I heard from her was a year or two after I got married. She sent me some candid family photos. In my book, she and her husband were good people. She had endured a rough first marriage to an alcoholic but managed to extricate herself and her children to start anew with someone who, in my experience, worshiped her.

Last night, I went searching for my ex. When I couldn't find any references to him, I searched for his brother, and then his brother's wife. That's when I found the article. Just a year or two after she sent me those photos, she and her husband had an argument on 12/31/92. He stabbed her. When she tried to use the phone to call for help, he ripped the phone off the wall. She and her mother fled the house. For some reason, the mother and a neighbor came back to the house. The husband shot them both and then himself.

I was stunned to learn of these events. First, I could not reconcile the events with the people I had known. Secondly, I had a hard time believing that something so horrible had happened to people I knew, and I didn't find out about it until almost fifteen years later. On that front, I guess it's easy to understand since we had few friends in common by the time of the incident. And, while the article did appear in my local paper, I wasn't a huge newspaper reader. However, my mother was, and she was alive at the time. Maybe she missed that article. Or maybe her mind didn't link the names to the names of people she only slightly new through me.

Maybe it shouldn't bother me this much. After all, it's been nearly fifteen years. Plus, we weren't close friends at that point, and hadn't been for a few years. Still, it does.

From some other information I found on the Internet, I think the wife now lives in another state. I hope she is at peace after all these years. Part of me thought of dropping her a note, but I think that would be cruel of me at this point considering our primary connection was through her ill-fated marriage. I will just have to hope that the universe is finally taking better care of her now.


Cobwebs said...

Egad. That's rough. Even though it may have happened in the past, it's still new to *you*, so it's to be expected that you're disturbed by the news.

You could probably still get in touch with her, and simply say that you'd thought about her and had found her via Google. You wouldn't have to mention that you'd found the news article unless she brought it up first.

I recently got back in touch with several people I knew 20 years ago ( had a "trial membership" offer), and the results were quite positive. Drop her a line; she should at least be pleased that you bothered after all this time.

barbie2be said...

that is so sad...

isn't it strange how one never thinks that the weird stuff could ever happen to them or anyone they know? my best friend's boyfriend (and the father of her son) was murdered in 2001.

i don't think you should try to reach her. it might be too hard for her.

Summer said...

I would try and reach her. It may bring up hard memories for her but knowing you cared enough to contact her would be worth it. It's never too late. When my grandmother died 24 years ago a former neighbor that my grandparents hadn't seen in 40 years came to the calling hours. I remember how touched my grandfather was by that, knowing that grandma touched this person's life enough for them to show their respect all those years later.