Friday, September 13, 2013

Elsa Manuela Alonso

This is one post I needed to write, but didn't want to sit down and reflect on it. Everyone went through their own grieving process and for me being in control and expressing it through writing, video, and photos has helped me cope, better than bawling in public. That's just me, I feel more comfortable suppressing things and having a hard exterior, even if I'm crumbling inside. It doesn't mean that I care less or hurt less, it's just my way. 

Sunday morning at 7:45 AM my phone started ringing, it was my father-in-law, I don't usually answer if I'm half awake, but it was unusual for him to call me, especially that early. My brain had time to process two things, either they needed a babysitter for Anthony or something happened to David. I answered, he said, Priscilla your friend Elsa has been in a bad accident. Car accidents are one sensitive topic for me. I've been in too many and I've dedicated this portion of my career to injury prevention out on the road. I uncouthly asked if she was dead. He said yes. I wasn't processing, I just wanted to know why, when, how. I  love and appreciate him for making that difficult call. 

This is the 2nd call I've received when I'm half awake that someone has passed way. Both times I reacted the same. I take the call, hang up, and realize in a mess of tears what's actually been said. I saw my brother outside my window and immediately ran out to tell him about the call. Hearing the words come out of my mouth made me cry. I love that guy, and I'm glad he was there to hear me. I could tell I was grasping for control because I put laundry in the dryer, went to the bathroom and put toilet paper on the roll. Jose came in and asked what I was doing, I told him, but wouldn't stop to talk, just kept being busy and crying. 

You know how when you hear bad news, and keep hoping that as the day progresses you'll find out that you were given the wrong information? That's how I felt. Elsa's grandma and aunt live a block from me, so I walked over to see how true it really was. Angie was sitting outside, more clouded than I was. We cried in each other's arms as we tried to piece it all together. The day was long and heartbreaking as many of us met at the crash site to leave flowers and balloons for our fallen friend. Hearing all of the chatter of what people thought happened was unsettling. I am all about logic and facts and will only believe the police report and examiners report, not someone's exaggerations. Again, coping mechanisms for me. 

It was a long, hard week leading up to the funeral services. I just wanted to keep in mind that I was hurting, but it wasn't about me, it was about showing support to her parents, brothers, baby, and Paris. Even to this day it still doesn't feel real. I hate checking Instagram and not seeing posts from her. The last time I saw her was at the Ludacris concert August 15th. We texted a few times after that. 

One thing I found very interesting was that all of her friends had distinct experiences in Elsa's timeline. My strongest memories are of our youth days at church. Everyone's memories mean something to them and are valuable. They are all a piece of her. 

I'm left with this weird feeling of not knowing whether I should love more or love less. My one comforting thought is that Elsa's free. To me that means she's in this perfect space, stress free, and oh so happy. 

If I could get one message across it would be don't drink & drive.

Here are the Fox 13 and Standard Examiner articles about the accident. 

Here's are  several videos, one of her memorial, one of old pics I had on a hard drive, and one our mutual friend made with recent pictures from the last few months.

No comments:

Post a Comment