|Becky's Silent Laugh|
Rebecca was her name but we all called her Becky. She is my cousin. She would hold her head back and do a silent laugh. A laugh that I wish I could still see today. We didn’t know the pain that she was suffering. She was delicate like a feather. She was as strong as a warrior. She fought hard against a battle that started in her teens. We never knew what she saw when she looked into the mirror. We all saw her as the frail girl. She died of anorexia on May 30, 2014. I had just found out about her disease a few months before. She was only twenty-eight years old at the time of her death. When she died she was only a few weeks away from beginning treatment.
A year after her death we all were trying to heal. She left a wound in all of our hearts. How could someone so young be taken so soon? She left behind two young kids and a husband. She had been their world. What could we have done to make everything better? I don’t think anybody in my family was ready to handle such a loss. I never knew that someone could die from anorexia. Out of all the diseases in the world we never suspected that this would be the one that took her from us. We had decided to meet at Chapel Heights Cemetery. She was buried here along with my great grandparents. She was only a few feet from where they were buried.
As I pulled into the cemetery I noticed that it was sunny. It had been sunny the day that she had passed away as well. It was quiet. A gentle summer breeze went through my car window. I was surprised that it had already been a year since she passed already. It seemed like just yesterday my mom was telling me the words that I hoped I would never hear. We had all prayed for a miracle but God works in mysterious ways and he had other plans for her.
Many people had showed up. A lot of my family had showed up and a few people that I did not recognize were there also. We didn’t say much. We all knew why we were here. All I wanted was it all to be dream. Everyone had a frown on their face. Her mom was trying to be strong. She spoke to her sisters about how they were doing. She spoke about how her life had been. We were each given blue balloons that had in memory of Becky on them. There was silence that spoke louder than any other word that we could give for comfort. It was as if we all were going back to the day she left. I looked toward that blue sky. I never wanted to have to do this. I never wanted to be here honoring her like this. I wanted her to watch her children grow. I wanted her to see her kids get their diplomas. I wanted her to watch them get married. As I held that balloon though I knew that it would not happen. I realized that she would not be in those photographs. The only thing that we would have were the photos and memories of her.
“As you know Becky loved all of you. I want to thank you all for coming here. It really means a lot. She would have liked this.” As her dad spoke these words I watched my aunts gathered around her mom. They held her close. Tears ran down her face as she let go of that balloon. None of us spoke we all just watched them go into the sky. A swift breeze took farther away from us.
It will be two years since she has left us in May. It’s still hard to believe that she has been gone that long. Life goes on even when you think that it will never return to normal. Things happen that we don’t always understand. I think that her death brought my family closer together. We do more now that she has passed away. We are more aware of the damage that eating disorders can have on others. Her sister spoke on campus about the life of Becky and her battle with the eating disorder. Now I understand how precious time really is.