The Drunk Driver Always Lives

You know, for some reason, I feel as if my mother’s side of the family is essentially trying to break the world record for most emotional deaths. I mean, I don’t blame HER obviously, and I don’t think we’re cursed, because that feels too melodramatic, but dang it if we can’t have our people live to ripe old ages and cry because they are gone from living a full life instead of having it snatched away from them in the most insane way possible. 

Randy Ross

Photo courtesy of Nakai Photography

This is my uncle Randy, who died at the hands of a drunk driver. The drunk driver was someone whom he called friend. He happened to be in the car with said drunk driver, and I have no idea if he knew that the driver was drunk or not. I’m not even going to hurt my brain thinking that he would willingly trust his life to someone that way, so I’m going to pretend that he didn’t know, and that the drunk was so convincing that one of his best friends decided to hop in the car, and trust that he would get home after a night out celebrating said drunk’s new job and purchase of the new car. 

Obviously, from the tone of this opening, you know I’m mad. Nay, I’m livid. That drunk driver killed two other people in the car, in addition to my uncle, and yet, he is slowly regaining the strength to continue living, while in a hospital bed. I’ve perused the Facebook page of said drunk, and with each “get better soon” and “God’s got this” I can feel my blood turning to ice. 

This is an eerily familiar feeling for me. I had this feeling when my sister died suddenly at the age of 18. With so much life ahead of her. Snatched from this world after we had just spent a full two weeks with each other, laughing and talking about everything under the sun. She entrusted me with some super secrets and I felt that I had hit the sister jackpot. 

My uncle Randy was five years older than me. I jokingly referred to him as my uncle/brother because our relationship resembled more of an older brother younger sister type, than uncle/niece. He was funny. He was my uncle. He was a father, a brother, a son. He was quick witted. He was. 

He was supportive of me, and my blog, and my ventures in life. One of the last very serious conversations we had centered around the We Sow, We Grow initiative and how he wanted to make sure to be on the delivery path for the vegetables that I was growing this year. He was watching me, he was sharing what he saw. 

He. Was. I now have to refer to him in past tense, because some selfish person decided to hit Jameson Whiskey so hard that he couldn’t keep his car under control. He decided to throw caution to the wind, and as a result, he killed three people. Yet, he still lives. It’s the biggest load of bull dookie that I have had to deal with in recent years, and it hurts. It hurts so much, and when I thought I was finally getting to a place of being able to get through the grieving process with my sister, here comes another reason to grieve. 

I’m struggling to understand. When my uncle Leodis was murdered by a cab fare that he picked up in May of 2011, I urged my family to forgive. To still hurt, but to forgive the young man because he was obviously stupid. My uncle Randy read me the riot act for that. It still smarts to this day, and now I feel like such a hypocrite because I don’t have the desire to forgive. I want the drunk driver to be where my uncle is, and for my uncle to not have had anything to do with the accident in the first place. 

I’m praying that my heart can be softened to a point where I want to forgive him, but at this moment, it’s just too hard. To see his family talking about what  a good guy he is, and how much he loved life makes my jaws clench. I’m trying to hold on to the test messages, and Facebook interactions, and family gatherings that I have burned into my memory. I’m trying to take solace in the fact that he has video on his Facebook page that I can view. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact, that I’ll only be able to see his face in his children. Children who now have to grow up without a father on this Earth. 

I keep crying. Crying to the point of hyperventilation, and a hurt chest. I want to throw things, I want to punch someone in the face, and I don’t have a Ouizer at the moment. My kids are noticing too, and deep down inside I feel guilty about that, but I can’t stop crying. I can’t stop waking up in the middle of the night, wondering if I would have called him, maybe talked to him for a bit, he could have stalled the driver until he sobered up. So much regret about not having the power of seeing the future. I am SO ANGRY. 

I’m trying to practice the level of Christianity that this world says that they have, but obviously lack. I don’t want to be those people. I don’t want to build walls, or even ban people from being able to support the drunk driver in the way that they see fit. I mean, they are his family and friends, and they’re grateful that he’s here. 

But, the drunk always seems to live, and there is no way for me to come to a resolution about that. 

UPDATE: On January 31, the driver of the car passed away, and surprisingly, I don’t feel any sort of relief. I don’t feel sad, and I’m definitely not happy. Just stuck in an odd space of disbelief.

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  • Reply
    Ellen Beck
    January 30, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Natasha my heart hurts. Your Uncle I am sure forgives, and lives on through you.
    I also have little compassion for drunk drivers, I actually am not overly fond of alcohol as it is one legal drug that causes so many problems.
    I don’t know why the drunk most usually lives…… but they do. Maybe it is so they have more time to reflect on the harm they cause.
    You wont ever forget, and you never should, but maybe one day it will hurt less. I hope it is soon .
    Rest easy Randy, you were loved, and love conquers all.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 2:38 am

    My heart hurts for you too! I always wonder why the drunk drivers almost always live as well. Just remember that your Uncle/Brother is looking down on you and you are surrounded by so many amazing people to life you up. <3

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 5:51 am

    I’m so sorry. My husband’s mother was killed by a drunk driver. I know.

  • Reply
    Margaret (@MargsWrld)
    January 30, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I’m so sorry for your hurt and pain. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m sorry to read this. The drunk always lives…I doubt the thoughts of killing a friend will make his days any easier…that may be a personal hell we would never know of. I pray you find peace during this time. That you keep pushing and doing all the things I you spoke of with him…he’s watching. He’s there. I’m sorry for your loss

  • Reply
    Nicole Stennett
    January 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Natasha I am so sorry for the tragedy that has occurred. I understand your pain and you have every right to be angry and feel ehat you need to feel. Many times people ask why does the drunk driver live? and the answer to that question is because the alcohol levels in their body causes their body in a crash to literally absorb the shock and their bodies are far more relaxed allowing their body to just go with the shock than a sober person that body tenses up during a crash.

    Remember one thing Don’t rush the grieving process, there isn’t a time frame on when, it’s a day by day moment by moment process. Forgiveness will come when it comes. That guy will have to live the remaining if his life knowing he destroyed 3 families by his reckless actions and although it doesn’t seem fair because he gets to live, in my eyes he’s worse off than the 3 people that fell asleep at his reckless behavior.

    Natasha if you would allow me I want to share with you what is helping me cope with the sudden death of my husband who was being robbed and they killed my husband now 1 year later, what keeps me waking up in the morning and then you will understand why I say this young man is worse off. Did I forgive the men that took my husband from me? I would have to answer for me it wasn’t a need to forgive or not to forgive….I understood that Satan is EXTREMELY BUSY and he destroys families and some people are just wicked, I also understand that Jehovah God sees all and that he will deal with all injustices and wicked in his due time…I understand that my anger had to be transformed into hope for the future and the things to come. So I took a stand to not have any feeling bad or indifferent but understand that really bad things happen to really good people but it will ALL be reversed within time and even though I still cry when I think about my husband I KNOW it’s temporary…..I am reminded of God’s promise and my faith is strengthened. I PROMISE YOU IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. In the meantime as much as you cry PRAY. Feel what you need to feel and PRAY. I guarantee you will get the peace that you seek.

  • Reply
    Kris McDonald
    January 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Sweetie I am so sorry. It does suck. (((HUGS))

  • Reply
    Janelle Robinson
    January 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    My condolences to you and your family.

  • Reply
    Notorious Spinks
    January 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it’s hard to forgive and you’re angry, but I know that even though this guy lived, he has to live the rest of his life knowing that he killed others. That has to be hell on Earth.

  • Reply
    GaNeane Lewis
    January 31, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Sister, I am so sorry for your loss…and I fully understand your anger. You will be ready when YOU are ready and that is all there is to it.

  • Reply
    Andrea Bates
    January 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Oh, goodness, Natasha. I hadn’t had a chance to read this until now. My heart hurts for you and yours. I don’t know why I assumed it was a car accident where the other driver was the drunk driver. But to see that your uncle was in a vehicle with a friend. And so many lives lost. And to see that the ‘friend’ is the sole survivor. Goodness. I’m so sorry. I can say that he’ll experience survivor’s guilt if he survives, and heals, and if that helps you a bit hold onto it. And if it does not, it’s okay. We’re all allowed to be angry at the loss of a loved one. No matter how we lose them.

    Grief has no timeline, those are the only words of wisdom I can send your way. Love you, my friend.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Oh Natasha, my heart is hurting for you. This sounds so like something I could have written when I was in the throes of our struggle with pregnancy loss. I was so angry that people who didn’t deserve it (my view) would have pregnancies thrive and flourish while I lost baby after baby. This place you are in is such a painful place to be in both spiritually and mentally. MY prayers are with you and I am here if you need anything.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Natasha, you wrote this very well, even in the midst of your pain. I can understand your perspective and sadness. Praying for you and your family.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    My deepest condolences. There’s nothing wrong with how you feel for you have to go through to get through. Praying for Gods abundant grace as you walk this road. Ps I’m seriously praying for you. Hugs.

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