- Domestic violence claimed the lives of a friend's mother, a friend's sister, and another acquaintance's sister.
- In my younger life, I was acquainted with two separate people who shot themselves to death.
- The son of someone with whom I briefly worked was murdered by a serial killer.
- The mother of one of my sister's high school friends was murdered in her own home.
- Two old friends, now acquaintances, each discovered a body of someone who apparently committed suicide.
- A colleague recently lost a teenage friend of the family to a car accident caused by another friend of the family.
- Another colleague knows two people who were perished earlier this month in the Oakland warehouse/artist collective fire
- Shoot! I worked in a juvenile prison for 2.5 years, where many of our inmates were the perpetrators of violence.
But never has violence affected my life directly.
Until today, when I learned a friend from college, a woman with whom I'd reconnected only 2.5 months ago, was murdered on Christmas. Tricia is dead at age 46. Life is so weird.
Here we are, with our pal Christy (left, holding the full-ish Corona),on the last day of freshman year. Tricia is the perky one in the middle.
And here we are, again with our pal Christy (with glasses, on the right), on Columbus Day weekend 2016. Tricia, an accomplished actress, herbalist, small business owner, farmer and yoga instructor, is still the perky one in the middle.
Whenever someone I know experiences a death, I share the same message of condolence: "The grief journey is the weirdest and most unpredictable trip we take in our lives. I trust you will make it through yours safely, buoyed by the love of family and friends."
BMG, who never met Tricia, is grieving in his own way - he stayed awake for the entire 75 minutes I was at the gym the morning, wanting to be sure I came home safely. And he's asked me to call him every 10 minutes while I'm at work today, so he can be sure I'm still alive.
Me? I've never been on this violent death journey. So I don't know where it will take me. Right now, I know I feel a little afraid, and resolved to make every moment matter, because life is unpredictable.
Rest in peace and power Tricia McCauley.