Loss and Gratitude: A Helping Friend

By Emily Lieberman, Ambassador10986508_10205235985792091_3128735716822105859_n

Saturday, March 9th, 1985. It was any normal Saturday night. My younger sister, Hallie was at the movies with her friends. My older brother, Josh, was away at a soccer tournament, and my older sister, Beth, had just left a few minutes previously with her friend, Shelley. Although my dad had offered them a ride, they said it was nice out and wanted to walk over to Shelley’s house. I was on the phone with my friend, Chrissy, making plans for the night when the call waiting beeped in (yes, call waiting, landline…it was 1985). When I clicked over, it was another friend of Beth’s, calling from a payphone, to let us know Beth had been hit by a car. She said that an ambulance was on the way and didn’t have any other information. I got off with Chrissy, told my mom and dad, and we jumped in the car, actually following the ambulance to the site of the accident. Once there, everything moved so quickly and it wasn’t long before we knew how serious this was.

Beth was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then life-flighted to a downtown hospital, better equipped to deal with brain injuries (yes, this is definitely serious). I was taken to a few different houses that night, friends of the family, before finally going home extremely late, not sure what was going on. We found out the next day that Beth had suffered severe brain trauma and was on life support. During this time, going to school was not an option, but being at home waiting for updates was unbearable as well. My friend, Chrissy, stayed home from school to spend time with me, and was there for me in an immeasurable way. It wasn’t that she consoled me throughout that week; we didn’t even talk much about was happening. We gossiped, read magazines, listened to music, and watched TV. There were a lot of tears that week, as the updates and visits to the hospital were not good. But there was lightness as well, and it had so much to do with having Chrissy there for me. So many other friends and family members were there for us, but having her with me meant the world to me and it meant so much to my parents as well.

One day at the Kate’s Club clubhouse, we were doing an activity “Story Wheel”. The kids would spin a wheel, landing on different questions. One of the kids got the questions “What is the best thing someone said to you during your loss?” His answer, “I’m here for you.” Truer words were never spoken. Chrissy was there for me, and I am eternally grateful.