Two people were killed on our street today at 4:30 pm or so. I wouldn't have known but a friend in Waterbury heard the news: "two people dead on Cornwall Avenue in Cheshire" and called to see if we were alright. I had no idea. I'd been out to buy Christmas gifts and had just gotten home. Cornwall Avenue is a long street down a steep hill from Route 10 to Mountain Road. We're 95 Cornwall Avenue and the killings were in the seven hundred block, at the bottom of the hill something like 3/4 a mile away, past the canal and the grade school.
After she called I went on line to find out more and most of what I found was just what she told me. Two people died down the hill from me and Bern and our lives. Police have said the incident is over and everyone is safe and two people are killed in a house on our street and there is something about children in the house so I imagine a man and woman--a murder/suicide leaving children behind. Alas.
I noticed my friend had sent me an email before I talked with her on the phone, asking if we were all right.
I emailed back something like this: "there goes the neighborhood. At least it wasn't in the Historic district".
I've regretted many, many emails, but none more than that one. It was flip and obscene. People had died and I was joking about it.
I think it was because my whole life-view of "that doesn't happen HERE" had been shaken to the foundations.
Cheshire, Connecticut is a town of 30,000 or so where nothing bad happens. Mostly white and mostly upper middle class, Cheshire is a place where nothing bad happens. Several years ago there was a home invasion that resulted in the death of a mother and two daughters and everyone in Cheshire was suddenly astonished. Things like that don't happen. Even now, back in September or October some time, there is an effort to have people light candles inside white bags--which someone sells you--to remember that event.
We've never done it because my life for 21 years was in the city of Waterbury where people of color were murdered on a regular basis and no one lit candles in white bags that someone sold them to honor those deaths.
Death happens. It does everyday. Sometimes peaceful, surrounded by family and sometimes violently, leaving children behind for whom life is altered forever.
I'll send this post to my friend in an email to apologize for how flip and frivolous I was in my email to her.
Two people died on my street today. I have no details, but it was violent death. More will be known tomorrow. Pain will be great.
And I should never ever, not ever be flip about it.
Violent death came to my street today. I take a deep breath and ponder the vicissitudes of life. And how precious life is.
Unfortunately, we sometimes need a violent death to remind us of the preciousness of life.
Even in a town where nothing bad ever happens.
Until it does.....
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