This is the time of year I usually breath a sigh of relief. No anniversary dates to get through or be blindsided by - a couple months reprieve.
This week though - that relief has been tempered by sadness on a different front. Last Friday I came home from running errands to find emergency crews and the Crime Scene Investigation van parked in front of one of our neighbors' homes. An elderly couple - their granddaughter had been a playmate of my daughter's before her family moved. This lovely couple who had been termed the "neighborhood grandparents" were now deceased. The circumstances not a pleasant contemplation and a complete shock. The investigators are calling it a murder/suicide - they were both in their mid-70's. Their home within line of site from mine - well kept yard with pretty and colorful flowers I often admired and a cheery welcome sign proudly displayed next to the front door. Things had become just a bit harder for them lately, progression of age wrecking havoc on body and soul and one can surmise that in face of quantity versus quality, quality won out and things just couldn't seem worth it.
Tomorrow my daughter and I will go and pay our respects and offer our condolences to their children and their children's children.
There is sadness and a little guilt. Wishes that friendly waves and brief hellos in passing had maybe been a little longer, a little more interested and concerned and supportive. May have not made one bit of difference, but maybe - just maybe . . .
ETA: The Visitation was rough - very emotional. There was a large show of friends from their church and neighborhood and the family was visibly touched by this as well as made mention of it. Come to find out that the little girl I thought was their granddaughter that my daughter played with, was actually a neighbor as well! They often looked after her after school while her parents worked and I would fetch Jess from their house - thus the assumption. My neighbor's children were not surprised by this at all - seems just about every kid in the neighborhood would find their way to their home and she would bake them cookies . . . :0) Their title of "Neighborhood Grandparents" well earned.