Double Doubles

I would be guilty of subscribing to the theory ‘if one is good, two must be better.’ If I had one donut, having two would be twice as enjoyable. One latte in the morning is the perfect way to start the day; another in the afternoon is a delightful pick-me-up. One earring? One shoe? One glove? Worthless. What one is more than enough of, though, is a funeral. Unfortunately, this past weekend, Mike’s family hosted a double funeral.

Last weekend’s fun and festivities with Jill and OJ in town were dampened with the news that Mike’s older brother James (who we all called Willie) passed away. He was in need of a pacemaker but chose not to have the procedure done, so it wasn’t an enormous surprise that his heart gave out. However, receiving the news that a loved one has passed always seems to be a shock to the system when it happens. On the contrary, the news on Sunday startled us beyond belief. Willie’s grandson Dominique was a gifted young musician and aspiring rapper whose life was tragically ended at 20 years old. He was the victim of a homicide at the hands of another young man who will no doubt spend the greater part of his remaining years in prison.

Funerals are unnerving under the best of circumstances. But to enter the church and make your way up the aisle to view two caskets is beyond your emotional threshold. I was gripped with the realization that I thought this type of thing only happened in ‘other’ families, yet there we were. And in the spirit of further confession, there’s something deep down inside me that wanted to know how it happened…admittedly, so I could file it away in my mind under ‘things that will never happen to me’. I recognize that in extremely overwhelming situations, I want to know exactly what the details surrounding the tragedy were, so I can prevent those conditions altogether, in an effort to avoid the tragic outcome. In the case of my brother-in-law, I could justify the outcome. He needed to have a heart procedure, but refused, knowing that death was a certain result of that decision. Cut and dried. But Dominique’s death was a little harder to prevent, for it was allegedly a jealous ex-friend of his then-girlfriend. THAT hits a little closer to home.

I’m not sure I can ever again dismiss a news report about a random shooting on the ‘other’ side of town. In the past I was able to file those unfortunate incidents in that ‘won’t happen to me’ file because I didn’t put myself or my kids in those situations. Until I sat in the congregation of a church on a rainy Saturday afternoon and stared at the two caskets in the front of the chapel and realized that senseless tragedies can happen. And did. And there wasn’t a thing our niece could have done to prevent having to endure her worst nightmare of burying her father and her son on the same day.

Tomorrow isn’t promised…make the most of today. Love fully and unconditionally.




  1. Donna O says:

    How tragic, Kim. So sorry to hear of both the loss of your brother-in-law and your nephew. The latter, of course, being so senseless. We all need to hug our loved ones and be grateful for each day we have together. Heartfelt sympathy to all of you ~ D.

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