Sad news from the mill hood

My young, beautiful neighbor died last night. It’s so awful.

I’ve never mentioned her to you specifically–she lived across the street. Do you remember the neighbors who saved that hurt squirrel and named it Nutterbutter Bob? She lived in that house. She was the girlfriend of one of the young sons who lives in the basement temporarily–they were set to move this week, in fact. I gave them my old couch and she was so strong, I remember, helping him carry it across the street like it was nothing.

I think she was in her 20s. She had blonde hair and was always happy. She wore short skirts and Ugg boots and looked magnificent in them.

My neighborhood is very precise. The front of it ends with a fairly major road. The back of it is cut off by railroad tracks. And on either side is a meadow. That’s what one of my neighbors called it. She moved here from Boston recently. “I live in the green millhouse that’s right next to the meadow.” I’d have called it a field or just empty lots, but I like “meadow.” Sounds nicer.

Anyway, so when I pull into my neighborhood, it’s three blocks exactly. And last night, there was a police car on the first block. “Uh-oh,” I said to my imaginary audience, which I guess is you.

Then there was another police car on the next block. The plot thickened for me and my imaginary audience.

When I got to my street, it was nothing but blue and red lights. It was blinding. This is not something you want to come home to. My neighbor, the one who adopted Nutterbutter Bob (he did eventually get better and was able to go off on his own again, which is good because he bit like a motherfucker, little ingrate) was on her lawn.

Normally I’d have left her alone and gone inside and peered out the window with my Benson & Hedges, but we made eye contact. “Is everything okay,” I asked, intelligently.

Yes. My house is surrounded by policemen and other emergency vehicles, including the coroner, but yes. Everything’s fine! Thanks! Good night!

“I think [girl’s name] is dead,” she told me. And right then, her boyfriend came out and confirmed that she was in fact dead. He was, as you can imagine, quite distraught. That’s when I slinked away quietly.

I know she had a lung and heart infection, and that she’d recently gone to the doctor about it. That’s all I know. Isn’t it awful? She was just so light and pretty and cheerful. Now she’s gone.

I went inside and made dinner (“made dinner.” I heated up leftover Hardee’s.) and then watched This Is Us (pull yourself together, Randall) and finally opened the Amazon envelope I’d gotten but had been too distracted to really note when I first got home. It was microfiber towels to clean my phone. So I grabbed my phone to clean it

and right then is when I discovered the 23949430402302394824923 messages from every neighbor I go to Friday dinner with. Oh my god, with the texts and the calls and the smoke signals and the singing telegrams on my phone.

“What’s going on, over there?” “Say, what’s all the trouble down your end?” “Why all the emergency vehicles?”

So I guess I never have to worry about being unnoticed here in this hood, anyway.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Rattledly,
June

66 thoughts on “Sad news from the mill hood

  1. Is This is Us on Netfix? Amazon? Disney+? I am way behind. I watched the first season, and was waiting to binge on Netfilx. But, I haven’t searched it, so.

    I am so sorry to hear about that young girls death. It brings our own mortality into sharper focus when we are faced with such a tragic end. Awful.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  2. A coworker of mine died very suddenly last week. This week we found out my company is being sold. I just… Wtf 2020? I’m sorry June, I know how upsetting it can be when stuff like this happens. It makes me question everything I’m doing in my life–is it right? Is it enough? Will I be remembered for anything? Ugh.

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  3. I’m so sorry about your neighbor. It is unsettling when a young person dies. The good news is that at least one of your neighbors will find your body before it starts to smell :-)…let’s hope they get there before the cats start gnawing on your face. (That’s what my daughter used to joke about when she lived alone in DC).

    PS: I love the way you painted a picture of the young woman. I wonder if you ever thought about writing a novel.

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  4. Is it sad that whenever I hear about a young person dying, my first thought is “was it opioids?” Because thanks to those assholes Purdue Pharma, there is such an epidemic of death by opioids. Several of my kids former classmates/friends/acquaintances have died from that. That poor girl, her poor boyfriend, her poor family. Death is so hard to understand.

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  5. I was wondering what all the commotion was down there. I saw her while walking my dogs the other night and while I don’t recall of her boot or skirt attire, she was talking with her bf who came out from under the house. Tragic.

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  6. Death is so sneaky, you never know when it’s coming to visit. So sad for the young man and for the entire neighborhood. My condolences.

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  7. My goodness!! I am sorry for all that knew her. I went to work this morning in just the best mood and within 5 minutes found out that my coworker had a heart attack in Walmart yesterday evening. I was so shocked. Every one is. It’s like a dream. I hate this shit.

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  8. Another look at life when you retire. I will one day , when I have time , make a list of all I do in retirement, if you care to join.

    You’d think the first thing would be , get going on that book, but I am dejunking the house first, to make a place to keep all the writing in one place.

    May your neighbor rest in peace and all who loved her, I am sure , will remember her the way you do. Bright , shiny, young and strong.

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  9. That poor young man had everything to look forward to as they launched out on their own. I feel for him and his family. I hope they find peace.

    I am not a fan of cross-fit Toby either, and he was one of my two favorites, the other being Beth, who I think is fabulous! Rebecca pets my peeves.

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  10. That’s just awful for your neighbors. Young death is never really gotten over. That was kind of you to remember her.

    My sister-in-law died at age 32 of ovarian cancer [1991], and to see her parents and younger brother grieve so viscerally at that time was heartbreaking. Thankfully, my brother has been able to move forward, but there was so much pain for all of us for so long.

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  11. So sad about your neighbor. Sounds like you have a good community of neighbors though. I think if we had cop cars and such come around most would just be annoyed at the noise and close their blinds.

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  12. Oh, sadness. I hope the sun shines today. Grief is so much heavier in rain and clouds. Raining here today so I can feel the sorrow weigh down.

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  13. WTF with the commenting? I wrote and thought I posted that (scintillating) comment TWO HOURS AGO. I just happened to breeze by my open tabs now and it was still sitting there. HATE.

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  14. That is such horrible news to come home to. And I haven’t watched This Is Us this week yet. I usually get so irked, that I save it for the weekend when I can storm around by myself and complain about what selfish idiots they all are. Then I tell myself, “Calm down, Dan Quayle, these are ACTORS in a TV SHOW.” And then I further suggest to myself that I get a life.

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  15. Loving the This is Us opinions. I watch it alone at my house, so have no one to comiserate with. I too am not looking forward to the Kate episode that has to be around the corner……

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  16. So sad. When I get to heaven I’m going to ask God why good people have to die and horrible ones get to live. I know about free will but STILL!

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    1. As my dad was getting worse and on his death bed. I told him if he got there first to ask God why and if I got there first, I would ask him why good people die and bad people live. Makes me tear up as I think about it. It’s been 10 yrs. It still hurts.

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  17. Oh my gosh that is so awful! I am so sorry for the family, and for you – even though you might not have known her well, it’s still someone who was a part of your neighborhood, and that can’t be easy to sit with.

    I absolutely loved the first season for This is US, but then once Jack actually died, I kind of lost interest. I haven’t watch the last 2 seasons at all.

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  18. And again our lives are parallel-ish, because my cousin’s young, blonde, pretty wife was taken off life support yesterday after some sort of heart/lung thing that they could never diagnose. She had twins a year ago and was in the hospital more often than not ever since. Her heart stopped a week ago and her mom did CPR, but it took 30 minutes to get her revived and to the hospital and her brain never recovered from the lack of oxygen. She’s still technically alive but it’s a matter of hours. And then her husband has to raise those twin baby boys, plus their 3 year old and his 7 year old alone. Death really is a vicious bitch.

    Also Randall really does need to get his shit together. Sack up, my dude.

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  19. Now, about Randall (I didn’t feel right posting about an actual tragedy and a TV show in the same comment), it is time for him to get it together. I can’t wait to find out who the woman is with Kevin. It has to be Sophie, right?

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    1. Oh, it’s def Sophie. I think. Also, what the hell TOBY, with the texting that other woman? You know that’s a sore subject for me. I felt Kate on that.

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  20. How terribly sad for those who loved her. I’m going to a funeral today for a neighbor and that is sad enough for his wife, but a family never gets over the loss of child, no matter the age.

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    1. I’m going to a graveside service tomorrow for a twin that only lived a week. I just got a call from their grandmother the other twin is in critical condition and being transported to Egleston Children’s Hospital.
      Tee

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  21. Oh how awful. So difficult to hear or see.

    Years ago I had a beautiful young personal assistant. She was lovely and in love. I threw her a wedding. Then a month later her newly wed husband called me wailing. She had died in her sleep. He woke up tried to rouse her but she was gone or as my grandmother would have whispered passed on. It was devastating.

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  22. Oh that’s so sad! Poor sweet girl and her boyfriend’s heart. I also like the sound of “meadow” as opposed to “field” or “lot.” I admire your commitment to stay out of their business when the natural impulse is to hang out in the yard and see what the what is going on. I watched This is Us the first season, but then I didn’t so much the second season, and if there was a third season I didn’t even know it, and now when I see that it’s on, I scream to the guide and find something else to watch. Way too much drama for me.

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  23. I’m so sorry – that kind of unexpected death is especially rattling, and to have it be such a young person on top of that? Ugh.

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  24. Oh, my. That is so sad. And jarring when it’s a young person – which at this point in my life is anyone under 60, but that’s another story. We had a young man die of an overdose one house down from us probably 15 years ago. I still feel sad every time I drive by. Like there’s a pall hanging over the house.

    I can’t watch This Is Us. Just too contrived. There’s just no complexity to the characters. Everyone just fits their role and stays there.

    I don’t know how to end this… you wrote a lovely, sad post. I will remember your beautiful young neighbor who I never met because you shared her with us. Thank you for that. Isn’t that all we all hope for… just to be remembered.

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  25. What a sad, awful thing to come home to. That poor young woman and her loved ones. My heart breaks for your neighbor and her son. Why is life so cruel? I think it is very good that you have a community there.
    I am many episodes behind on This Is Us. This is what happens when you give up your remote to your Sports and SciFi loving boyfriend every weekend. The Sports is all new to me. I like SciFi but my late husband had no tolerance for it. I do watch The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy and A Million Little Things faithfully still. Other stuff varies.

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  26. Oh, how awful. It’s so very sad. I hate when a young person passes long before their time.

    I was bored and irritated with Randall. To quote my 17 year old daughter, who says this any time there is any angst or drama, with a splayed hand tapping the table with each word, “Get yourself together!”

    I am NOT looking forward to the Big Three Trilogy episode that will focus on Kate.

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  27. How upsetting. And I do not watch that terrible show, thankfully. Enough drama, already! Hope you are okay.! Xoxo

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  28. Death is usually sad, but the sudden death of a young person feels worse. Farewell, beautiful young woman of light.

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  29. Of course it is awful about your neighbor, but I too said last night to Randall: “Get into therapy! Do something with yourself!” aunt kathy

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      1. We were over here yelling at Randall too.
        My heart goes out to the family and others who are hurting right now.

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