Tonight I was watching the news and saw a video of a house burning down in another county. It was just a flash-one of those "coming up" things-but it looked awfully familiar. The news said something about a child dying.
I jumped up and said, "Oh my God, that looked like..." I didn't even finish my sentence because the house is a standard design and there had to be hundreds in that county just like it. To be on the safe side, though, I looked at the news online.
I was right the first time.
A family that I knew very, very well lost their 5 year old daughter in a house fire yesterday.
By the time the news story aired, the 4 year old daughter had passed away as well. The father is in ICU.
I can only imagine what the mother must be thinking. She has lost her two youngest babies and maybe even her husband. He apparently got out of the house and then, upon realization that the younger kids weren't outside, ran back into the flames to try and pull them out. He almost died. The oldest daughter passed away almost immediately. The youngest was airlifted to our university hospital.
I spent so much time with this family. I loved those kids. The youngest one was just a few months younger than Sam and I can remember them being babies. The older one was toddling around when I met her and she always wanted to sit in my lap and pat my head.
I just can't even wrap my head around this. How are you supposed to go to a funeral for TWO of your children? At the same time?
I'm trying to figure out what to do. I think we'll try to get a bag together with some non-perishable food and go up to the hospital tomorrow. They have a large family and I'm sure the mother is going to be around there with her husband and maybe the other kids. I don't know that they will let me in very far since I'm not family and the husband is in the Burn Unit but maybe I can drop it off.
This is the first time I have dealt with a child's death after Toby's. It's such a horrible death, too. I can't explain why because it's kind of personal (for me and for the family) but I actually feel a little responsible for it. I feel like I indirectly had something to do with it. I know I didn't set the place on fire or anything, but there were things that I could have done and didn't. This was 4 years ago and when I had a different life, but I can't stop that nagging sense of responsibility for it.
I just can't believe that when I held the little one as a baby her days were already numbered and that something this horrible would happen. To me, she is still a baby and it's hard not to think about her and Toby in the same kind of way.
A local business is taking donations for the family. It's been all over our local news. If I can find out what they need I will post it. From what I understand, there is nothing salvageable from the house so more than likely it will be everything. They have at least 3 children still living at home so there is a lot of need there.