Imagine you were reading a book, or watching a movie (for those less book-inclined), starring a fairly standard family: Mom, Dad, two boys and a younger daughter.
Now imagine that when the kids get older (teens and early twenties), their father dies. Car accident. It's terrible, but the family has each other, not to mention friends and neighbors, to help them through it.
Life goes on; never quite the same, but things get better. Then eight or nine years later, the younger of the sons is in a car accident. He dies. The grief is tangible and the news is heartbreaking to all. Still, life manages to go on and while it is tragic, it isn't beyond belief.
Not even a year later, there's a phone call. Something terrible has happened and now the eldest son is dead, leaving only the mother and the daughter. At this point in the book or movie, you'd probably be pretty upset. Oh come on! you might think. It wasn't enough to take away the father/husband and one of the sons, now you've killed off both? This is just unbelievable!
And that's the feeling you're left with. The story isn't over, but at this point, it's hard to believe that one family could endure so much loss and grief. Most books or movies wouldn't take it to this point. The irony of the middle child's death via car accident, so similar to his father's, would have been the most tragic part, and things would have gotten better in the end.
Unfortunately, this isn't a book. Or a movie. If you remember this post, then you already know that.
It's unimaginable what this family has gone through (and seemingly continues to go through), and my heart breaks just thinking about it. Most tragedies never even take it this far, and yet, this couldn't be further from fiction.