Blog: Sad Over Strangers

(originally written 9/6/12)

Yesterday, 9/5, I awoke in spirits usually only produced by significant doses of Ecstasy. This is always dangerous, as historically I've committed my dumbest acts when under the influence of such natural delectation. These acts can range from writing an ill-advised blog to impregnating a woman to pass the time. Sundry more examples exist, but I'm not here to talk about the past.
 
The high spirits only grew higher as the hours passed playing with Josie; if we were to equal the level of bliss I felt to the magnitude of stupidity required for an upcoming decision, you'd see me on the news having attempted to do a handstand on the middle of Interstate 880. That's how goooood I felt.
 
It's no wonder why I wanted to "come down off my high" just enough to ensure sensible behavior.
But not this way.
 
Around 5pm, I visited some family, where I learned that an acquaintance—my cousin's boyfriend's sister, if you must have details—woke up that morning to find her two-week-old son deceased, for no obvious reason. He'd been born healthy and gave no indication he'd remain anything but.
 
Even though I'd not met him yet, this news shook me to my very core. This may not be the first ever documented death of a baby, but it's still the death of an innocent, helpless baby, and it sucks. Four years ago, my reaction would have been "What's everybody so upset about? He was TWO WEEKS OLD. I've had colds longer than that. Just have another kid and move on!" Now, thankfully, I know better—the loss of a child brings interminable pain that can only be managed, never dissolved. 
Just the thought of losing my own almost brings me to my knees. I hugged Josie for a long time upon hearing the news and didn't even complain when she (again) climbed out of her bed and into mine during the night.   
 
To make a tragic day worse, CHP officer Kenyon Youngstrom (KY) was unable to survive the bullet wound suffered earlier this week on I-680. For those of you unaware or out of the area, KY was conducting a routine traffic stop when suddenly the driver blasted him (before being killed himself by another officer). He survived for a while on life support but succumbed at 6pm yesterday.
 
It angers me that people like KY who serve their country (he was an Army reservist) end up being slaughtered by the very people they pledge to protect. This man had four children who are fatherless now all because of some bum who was up to no good. My biggest fear, as I've shared with some of you, is dying prematurely and leaving Josie in this oft-dour existence without a dad. It's largely why I hold my tongue a lot more than I used to.
 
I feel terrible for their whole family but have no idea how to express it. "Sending my prayers" via some website comment box? Hell no. Leaving flowers at some vigil? That's just trash-to-be. Monetary donations? Surely that could help in some ways, but KY was more than just a paycheck to his family. 
 
If my happiness can breed dumb ideas, perhaps my grief can produce an intelligent one to help ease these families' pain...guess we'll see.