Monday, December 11, 2006

I don't know what to say

Most of you reading this know that Star Foster, a.k.a. Sarcasmo, died yesterday morning of a pulmonary embolism. Those of you who didn’t…well, I’m sorry you had to hear it this way. I’m at work today, because I can’t take another day of thinking about it. That’s small of me, but over the past 24 hours I’ve learned that the small things are what get you through. Of course, I’m here at work blogging about it, so I guess I didn’t do myself much good after all.

Dan and I got the call around 11 am, and we were at Graduate Hospital shortly afterwards. We walked down Lombard to get there, and it was a beautiful winter day, which somehow seemed wrong. You know what else seemed wrong? There were all these people out enjoying the (relatively) mild day, and it struck me that they had no idea what had happened. Dan and I were in a completely different world, and I almost expected them to be able to walk right through us. I don’t know if they were the ghosts or we were.

All I’ll say about how things were in the ER is that no matter how bad you think it was, it was worse. I don’t know how those ER nurses and doctors do it, witnessing that kind of awfulness every day. Maybe you get hardened to it, but I don’t know if I want to get hardened to that. I never know what to say in these circumstances, so I settled for looking at the ground or – really close up – at the shoulder of Dan’s coat. I’ve been told that I’m very diplomatic, but when Star’s folks approached Dan was the one who said the right thing, while I hid my face in the crook of his arm.

We invited everyone who was interested to gather at our place, which turned out to be a better idea than I at first realized. On the way back I found myself fretting endlessly over what we should have in terms of food. Food happens at these times, I knew. (Remember, the small things.) Mouserobot held down the fort while Dan and I went out and bought pasta and chicken and cheese and chocolate cake. The pasta turned out badly because I screwed up boiling it, which sounds funny. How do you screw up boiling stuff? You screw it up by putting in too much pasta and not enough water, that’s how. Given my state of mind at the time I guess it’s fortunate I didn’t stick my head in the pot. Bad pasta notwithstanding, lots of people came over, the Movie Night crowd plus others who’d known Star. Two people were missing, the first being VisMajor who had very kindly volunteered to help go to upstate New York and get Star’s younger sister. The other was Star herself, who I kept expecting to walk in at any moment.

The knowledge of Star’s death keeps coming at me from different directions. I’ll try to get my mind off it and think of something else, but the knowledge just pops up right along each train of thought and slams into me. I’ll think about the concert I was planning to attend that weekend (the one Star wanted to see), or the next episode of Battlestar Galactica (Star will never get to see how it comes out), or about Sex Dwarf (Star was so excited about the New Year’s Eve bash). It’s like the knowledge is saying, “Howdy doo! You thought you could lose me by distracting yourself, but here I am. I think I’ll settle in and stay awhile. A good, long while.”

I guess this is the time to say nice things about Star, but others have done that more eloquently than I’ve a heart to. As I said, I’m not very good at coming up with the right words at these times. I’m pretty much just thinking one thing.

I wish that Star wasn’t dead.


Blogger Daniel J. Linehan said...

That might be small, I don't know, but I understand. I've been studying as much as I can for much the same reason.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish that too. Pretty much every waking moment of the past three days.


10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. I wish that Star weren't dead. I wish we had a way to undo it.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...


I'm just catching up to everything that was written. I know I have spoken with you since, and I'll tell you that your presence was more than enough at the hospital, and all your support since the awful moment when we knew, has been invaluable to me and my family.

I'm still trying to find a way to be witty and fabulous when I write, but so far, Star seems to be too busy exploring the afterlife to help with that small detail in this one.

Thanks for letting me lean on you (and Dan). Trust me, it's been no small feat to hold me up this week.

Much love,
Debbie Foster

9:28 PM  

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