Jilly D.

Torn asunder

In Grief, The Farm on February 7, 2013 at 1:58 am

Collin Anderson loved Rachel F. I know why.

Rachel coordinated a Crop Mob at On Warren Pond Farm the summer after Sam died. She organized a community group of volunteers to help me bring in the last of the summer’s produce. During my year of magical thinking, Rachel appeared like an angel. We’ve remained in touch through social media and because of our mutual interests in Groundswell and Cornell University’s Small Farms Programs.

What sweet coincidence that Collin’s parents became the new stewards of the farm in 2010 and that this year he and Rachel had moved into our home; the cabin Sam built. I adored the Andersons for reclamating our love shack and it seemed fitting to see a young couple dedicated with heart and mind to sustainability in our old haunt.

I had just learned from Violet Stone that she’d fallen in love this past summer along the edge of the pond on the farm. She and Josh are expecting a baby. This land is sacred land. I love it still. Sam loved it even more.

Bitter irony that Rachel and I have become sisters in suffering the sudden loss of the love of our lives. Bitter irony that the rough cut lumber inside her home are the same walls to which I wailed in pain at the breaking of my heart when Sam died. Rachel and Collin mirrored the best of my romance with Sam. What Alonzo Wilder meant to Laura Ingalls, so Sam meant to me. He could do anything he set his heart upon.

Bitter taste when I felt the horror Suzanne and Daryl, Collin’s parents, his sisters and brother, and Rachel went through today in letting Collin go to the other side. My tears won’t subside.

My heart pounds. Death came to my door on Saturday afternoon and I wasn’t home. Someone knocked and my dogsitter, Antonia, afraid of the big bad wolf in the woods, hid upstairs and let Lucy and Scooby bark until he went away. So the Grim Reaper took another?  When I heard the news from my friend Mary about the accident early Monday morning, the scene flashed into my mind. I witnessed it in my subconscious as some sign from Sam.

There was a car full of people partying and they kept slowing down and speeding up in front of Rachel and Collin. I could hear Sam’s voice getting irritated at stupid drivers. He turned the radio down and sat up straight.

Signaling left, Rachel flicked on her turning signal and pulled into the left lane to pass. When she did the car to her right sped up like a high school drag race on an icy highway. They approached Van Dorn Road on the left. The water tower and the old Perry City Poor House appeared on the right.  When the car full of fools kept speeding up, Rachel touched the brake to slow back down and pull in behind them and then the car began to spin out of control.

The partiers sped up and disappeared as they watched the Toyota crash into a truck that had just pulled onto SR 96 from Van Dorn Road. Uninvolved? Who was in that vehicle? I heard the helicopters arrive. The rest of this memory becomes a blur and a physical reaction. That same gut punch I felt at the funeral home to make arrangements for Sam’s funeral have caught me by surprise. Makes me want to vomit.

I wasn’t there. It didn’t happen that way. I can’t shake it loose from inside my memory maker.

The familiarity of how grief slaps you across the face when you least expect it, or deserve it. The recognition of how a slash in time allows no goodbyes. The grotesque reality you can’t take it back. There are no retakes, no rewinds. The what ifs will forever remain an unsolved mystery. The rich, passionate, fulfilling love experienced between two souls meant for one another torn asunder.

Torn asunder.

Peace Collin. Give Sam a kiss from me and Rachel. That will make him squirm. Collin is very much the son Sam wished he’d been a father, friend and mentor. I hope their spirits meet and share the love of music, words, the land, sustainability, family and farming. Sam was a friend to everyone and generous to a fault. While I didn’t know Collin very well, they seem to have shared these qualities too.

We are all connected. My friend who had been in a car accident and broken her wrist wept when I told her I was sad and why. My friend whose son is the same age as Collin and who feels bonded because their boys were involved since childhood and their paths have crossed many times in this community of friends. We are all connected. Friends who have lost children, parents, and friends. We are all connected by grief.

Torn asunder.

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  1. Oh Jill. My heart aches for you ~ and your community.

  2. I found this looking for news about Collin, and it made me cry tears that I couldn’t cry before. So sad what you and Rachel have been through. Thank you for sharing this, it is healing in so many ways.

  3. Sending you love and peace. Out into the community as well.

  4. I now know about Collin. (I asked in another comment). This is so tragic. I can’t say more now. Hugs.

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