Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It's late, and I need to go to bed. I stepped outside to check that I'd turned the sprinkler off and I glanced next door. And the wave of grief hits again.

Monday night my next door neighbor died in a plane crash in Nepal. Leaving behind her husband of 29 years and five children, the youngest a 14 year old daughter. One son is on a mission for the LDS church in New Jersey. She was in Nepal with her best friend to do a hike to Mt. Everest Base Camp. They'd been planning and training for the past four years. She was celebrating her 50th birthday.

I heard the news Tuesday morning. My friend called and when he told me, the first thing out of my mouth was "You're kidding," even as I knew that he wasn't, and that noone would joke about this. My thoughts first went to the kids, who have been wonderful friends to us since we moved in four years ago. How would they survive this? How can they be strong enough to bear this grief that I can't even imagine? I needed to talk to someone, so I called my sister-in-law Cristina into the room since I couldn't reach David on the phone. She cried with me and hugged me. I told the kids after breakfast, and then we went next door. There were other friends and neighbors there, and we just hugged them and cried with them. "I'm so sorry," is all that I could say. Hugging them seemed like the best way to share their pain. It was then that my thoughts moved from the kids to the father. They had lost their mother, but he had lost the love of his life, his companion. He's alone now. The anguish in his face was wrenching, but I could see the strength that he was mustering for his family right now.

It's just so sad. The kind of thing about life that makes you really angry, or it would, if you could get past the sorrow.

So when I stepped out tonight, thinking of my own little world here in my home, I look next door and wish I could somehow lessen their pain. I wish that my own sorrow could somehow take away some of theirs. But all we can do in these instances is to mourn with those that mourn, I guess. And I hope that's something.

The Deseret News published a really touching article about the family.

Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.


Kent White said...

It is at times like this that I think of my acquaintance Stephen Marsh who lost three of his daughters to different causes over a period of a few years. I found him when I had lost a friend to suicide and the biggest question I had was what I was supposed to DO with my emotions. He has taught me a lot about surviving grief, what not to say to those who are grieving, and what to expect from the process. I think you already have the right attitude as you just need to be present with the grief while you let time work. His site is found below:

mindy said...

Thanks Kent. I will look at his website. I think I "knew" him back in my more active FMH blogging times.

Mary said...

After hearing the tragic news, I found myself at a loss for what to do most of Tuesday. I felt like life had changed and I couldn't simply continue on with my housework. I felt like I should stay home and give the family space since I don't have a close connection with any of them, though I do consider them my friends and a dear part of my ward family. Logic told me there was nothing I could do to change anything, and I should return to the maintenance of my own family. With all that confliction in my head, I spent a lot of the day just sitting and thinking.

Yesterday at Church, I found myself wondering how many of the people there know I love them and I would miss them if they were gone. I had a few interactions that endeared Leuzi to me, but I don't know if we ever realize how much our non-BFF friends still mean to us. I hope you know you're on my list of close friends and I love you.

mindy said...

Mary, I think part of what makes it so hard when people we care about are grieving is that it feels like our lives should be more affected, and we feel almost guilty that they aren't. I think since we are neighbors with the Cardosos it feels even stronger. How can my life be essentially unchanged when only a few yards away, their lives are forever altered?

I think the best thing about the Church as an organization (separate from the Gospel) is how it entwines us together. We have a lot more interactions with others than people who aren't LDS, and these interactions make us closer than acquaintances but not always close enough to be friends. It's neat, though, because we get involved with each other at different levels, perhaps through the kids in Primary or through spouses in callings. It makes for a really neat web of connectedness, I think. I'm really grateful for that.

And I am really grateful for you, too. Your friendship means a lot to me. I love you, too. :o)

Pam Williams said...

Well, I felt cheated because I didn't know Leuzi very well, but what I knew I liked, a lot, and I wanted to get to know her better. So I did what I do best - I wrote something for Misty to put in the newsletter tribute. There's really nothing more I, as a fringe person, can do to lighten the impossible burden the family is feeling now, but it is something that will help me deal with it, and maybe a semi-stranger's view will mean something to them later on as they remember her. Leuzi stood behind me in the choir and I will never forget her voice. Now it seems like a great metaphor. As the members of her family move on with their lives, she will always be a voice just over their shoulders to encourage and cheer them on. She was a superstar. I'm so glad the choir has been asked to sing at the memorial service.

And have I mentioned yet how much I've come to love you, Mindy, and you, Mary? It has been such a blessing to have an immediate sense of belonging and to feel so much acceptance and appreciation right from the start. It's an ordinary middle-class neighborhood we live in, inhabited by so many extraordinary people. I guess losing Leuzi has the effect of making us all reevaluate what we mean to each other. I think she would be happy to know we're doing that.