Friday, March 14, 2008

Surviving

Of the things that needed to get done that I enumerated last week...reading for class fell to the wayside. Con law has stopped the "on" system so when we have something to say in class we raise our hands, if we don't have anything to say, we won't get called on, so I was safe in not reading. But the readings were short this week for that class so I did most of them. In Crim we're still using the "on" system where he emails you if it's going to be your turn for the next class, and since he's going in alphabetical order and my friend was "on" this week and her last name is "Young," I knew I was safe. That class had the longest readings so it fell to the wayside the most. Sadly, because they're also the most interesting readings. Contracts is a crap shoot if you don't read, he cold-calls so really it's necessary to be fully prepared all the time...but he accepts when people "pass" and he's trying to arrange his cold-calling so that he gets through everyone once before calling on people twice...and he messed up with me and already called on me three times so while I really tried to read everything for that class, a few times it just didn't happen. And all that reading fell to the wayside because I was working on the project.

For the most part I still went to class. I missed one contracts class. And spent nearly all of Crim editing on Wednesday so I may as well have not been there. I also didn't quite finish the portion of the summary judgment memo I was supposed to do, but I had a separate reason for that which I will now explain.

On Saturday, the day that I had set aside to work on the memo, I was about to start work when I checked my cell phone and noticed I had missed a call from my mother...and a message. Since she doesn't usually call, I checked the message right away because I figured it was important. Well, it really was. She was calling to inform me that my cousin, Sarah, had been found dead of a drug overdose. I started crying at the message, called her back, cried again, calmed down while I talked to her, hung up the phone and cried some more, talked to Ira about it online and cried some more, calmed down again, called Christen, thought I was composed enough to leave a message when she didn't answer but broke down halfway through, distracted myself by watching TV until she called back, actually was able to laugh a bit when talking to her but only because that's what she knows I need when I'm upset so she did her best to make it happen, immediately was sad again upon hanging up, and by then I knew that no summary judgment memo was happening that night. So I watched TV and went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up, decided I wasn't going to be able to focus on something as intense as chess so I didn't play online with my dad like we usually do, and instead tried to work on the memo. I got about halfway done, and then had to head in to the school to do stuff for the project. That was a much more pressing matter since 12 other people were depending on me to finish fact checking by 5 pm Monday. So I went in and hoped it wouldn't take too long and maybe I'd be able to work on my memo that night. That didn't happen so I emailed the professor, explained what happened, and told her how much I had and she said it was fine. I didn't have to have the whole thing in the first place, the whole thing is due this coming Monday so really it just makes it harder on me now since I have more I have to write this weekend then I would have. Which is unfortunate since the Barrister's Ball (aka Law School Prom) is tomorrow and I'm going and Vanessa and I are spending the whole day tomorrow getting pretty so really I only have tonight and Sunday. And I'm going out with friends tonight because among all this, some other friends have had some stuff going on, plus we've all been stressed from this project, and we just need to go out and relax and have some fun. We're all also going to the "prom" but tonight is just for us without other law students getting in the way. We're kind of a close-knit group and we're very particular about when we allow people outside our group to butt in on our socializing. So tonight is for us, and the "prom" is more an excuse to get dressed up and dance and take advantage of the open bar. As school dance things usually are.

Anyway...I've written more about how Sarah's death affected my time schedule and not as much about how it affected me. So...the most death I'd had to deal with up until this point was a few great-grandparents and one uncle, who was actually Sarah's father. With the great-grandparents, it's kind of an expected thing. Also, I didn't know them very well, most of the times I can remember being around them they were pretty senile so I never felt I knew who they were as a person before that. As for my uncle, while he was young, it was also pretty expected. I was sad, but he'd been sick for a while, we all knew it was coming. I was upset but I certainly didn't go through any kind of shock. Plus I was still in Oregon and was able to go to the memorial service.

So, flash forward to now. I find out my cousin, who was roughly my age, who I haven't seen in a few years because she kind of went in a direction where she disconnected from the family, is suddenly dead. I was just in complete and utter shock. I was in such disbelief that every time I thought about it, I felt like I was hearing about it for the first time all over again, and would start to lose it all over again. And then as I started to deal with it more, I felt regret for not trying harder to keep in touch with her, and anger because she didn't reach out, and complete helplessness because I couldn't do anything about those emotions or about the overwhelming sadness that I think the other emotions were just trying to cover up. And I think back to when we were kids at family gatherings, she was the only one I hung out with, on my mom's side most of my cousins are much older than me and it's only since I've become an adult that I've been able to relate to them...but I could play with her. And my other cousin (her brother) to some extent but not as much because we wanted to do girl things.

When she started drifting away from the family, we tried to bring her back, I remember us inviting her to things. But then, my parents were separating and I was doing the college thing and aunt Judy is eternally busy and all her sons were starting families of their own. As for the rest of the family, most of them live 5 hours away from the Portland area so they couldn't do as much. I, for one, always had the hope that she'd drift back. Maybe everyone else did too. We hoped that she'd reach out if she needed help. Although Vanessa made a good point...maybe she didn't know she needed help.

So. This week, I've been working on coping. I'm still working on it. I'm doing okay now. I'll get better eventually. But it'll take some time. Especially with it being so sudden.

Anyway. I need to figure out dinner before going out tonight. Along with trying to get some work done. I'm hoping to have a really good weekend to try to make up for everything else.

3 comments:

Chucka Stone Designs said...

Bridgete I am so truly sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin. It sounds like Sarah just got wrapped up in something that was too big for her to handle so Vanessa is absolutely correct about her maybe not knowing she needed help. It is great that you have close friends around to talk to about this. Are you able to talk to your family too? I know they are far away but it could help you know?

Despite those circumstances it sounds like the project is coming along well and that all of you were able to blow off some steam. Do your best to enjoy this weekend & I hope you have a chance to get all that reading done. Today is pouring so maybe it would be a great day to do nothing more than read :)

~ Jenn

Ginger said...

i came to tell you i really liked the comment you left on jason mraz' page....on that note i'm sorry for your loss.

i've had family and friends that got caught up in lifestyles and influences where they end up in situations where they obviously need help, but don't see it themselves. they believe all the good people trying to help them need to just mind their own business. sometimes it helps to remind myself that we all have our own life lessons and karma to work out and just because the answer isn't obvious to us, that doesn't mean it's not there. still, that doesn't change the fact that it sucks, does it?

words are always easier than feelings...i hope you find some peace with your cousin within.

~

Bridgete said...

Thanks to both of you.