To be completely honest, this time last night I was tortured by the idea of our horror story spreading throughout social media. It was so surreal, so devastating that what I was feeling seemed too personal for Facebook. No status or wallpost could rightly capture the beauty that was my baby sister or actually describe the impact of her being gone. I dreaded the moment the news would seep onto my page. I knew once it happened, it would spread exponentially. There was no taking it back.
In retrospect, I don’t know why I was so concerned about stopping time in that moment before everyone knew. What did it matter when the moment that really mattered, the one that changed everything, had already passed?
I would not wish the past 24 hours or what inevitably follows from here on anyone. This is the beginning of what will likely be one of the hardest times of my life. But I will say this: Social media ended up bringing me, not the torture I’d anticipated, but a small dose of comfort. In a time where I am much too far away from the people who I need and who need me most, it brought me a bit closer. Pictures slowly started appearing as people’s profiles. People from everywhere that know me personally and others I’ve never met started sharing stories. More people than I could ever hope to thank individually offered their sympathies.
None of this keeps me from breaking down with each flicker of a Stephanie-memory and each phone call with my parents or middle sister. But it does remind me that I’m not alone. Even though it might feel like I am from a geographical standpoint, I’m not. And, until everything is sorted and I can get to my family, I will be grateful for that. Thank you from the very bottom of my broken heart for thinking of me and my family. And, most importantly, for thinking of Stephanie.