Today, the man who killed my friend was sentenced to a 12-year prison term. In the news report, Leah’s father said that there will never be closure and no truer words have ever been spoken. Closure, to me, means to close a chapter, door, etc. There will never be a day when I can “close” Leah out in any sense.
Just yesterday, I thought about the time we had lunch at the Warwick (which we frequented) and she told me the funniest story about one of the trips she had taken with Sheldon when he played for the Colorado Hawks. She had been pretty upset about the incident but the way she told the story made me laugh so hard, that she ended up laughing too. Long after I left Denver, I missed those lunch dates with her and knowing that I will never have the opportunity to lunch with her again leaves me devastated. Yesterday, I was finally able to smile when I thought of her; today my heart bleeds again.
I think my hurt comes from the fact that this man should not have even been in this country and he most certainly shouldn’t have been behind the wheel of a vehicle. He had DUI cases in 1999 and 2000, was deported in 2001, came back illegally in 2002 and magically flew under the radar, pretty much until he killed Leah. He apologized. Following my faith, I know that I must forgive. Its hard.
I learned new details of the accident today that I would rather have not known but in a sense, a lot of my questions were answered. Her dad said that the impact threw her car 85 feet. I’ve always wondered if she saw him coming. The thought of that makes me cringe because I know that if she did see him coming, fear had to have engulfed her because she knew she couldn’t get out of his way. Then I wondered if it was the case that she never saw him coming. Its my understanding that she lost so much blood that there was no chance of her surviving. That fact makes me ill. I cried for hours today.
When I go to Denver, I will go to Mt. Olivet to visit Leah’s grave site and say the goodbye that I would have said had I been given the chance. I want to get back to stage where I was before today’s sentencing and I know in my heart that Leah would not want me to be in the mental and emotional pain that I’m in over her death, but I am only human. I have to release her and I will. It will just take time.