Faraway (So Close)

Over the last couple of days the news has been dominated by the death of a famous athlete who was killed (along with his daughter and several other people) in a helicopter crash. There will be tributes, candlelight vigils and ribbons over the next few months.  It was a tragic loss of life, to be sure, but it’s a celebrity story and Americans are enamored with celebrity.

I read further down the page until I see the photo above.

Angel also died this weekend, when she was shot and killed by the police in a small Alabama town.  I don’t blame the cop who pulled the trigger, because she started firing as soon as the cruisers rolled up in the driveway at the trailer park.

Almost like she wanted to get shot.

The story indicated that Angel had one previous arrest for “obstructing governmental operations.”  Neighbors said that she had “mental problems.”  Others alleged drug use.  One neighbor was quoted as saying that he “hoped this meant peace and quiet would return to the neighborhood.”

I read each of the 35 comments below the electronic news story.  All political.  Bad cops.  Racial  implications.  Alabama politicians.  The mental health system. President Trump(?!?).  I read on, expecting someone to try and weave the Alabama and Auburn football rivalry into the commentary, but no one figured out how.  This the back-and-forth irrelevant nonsense of electronic anonymity.  The downfall of civility in America.

Just one comment:  “So sad.”


I know nothing of Angel’s story, but I cannot get that photo out of my mind.  She was younger than she looked, but still very pretty.  I am drawn to her eyes.  I magnify the photo as large as the computer will allow.

I see it.  Loneliness.  Darkness.  Hopelessness.  Sadness.  A brokenness that I am not sure can be fixed.  It’s a long, slow death spiral into the ground.  I see it because I’ve looked into eyes like that before, up close.

I’ve heard it said that things aren’t remembered if they aren’t written down.  I think that refers to people too.

Here are a few lines about Angel.  May she rest in peace.




10 thoughts on “Faraway (So Close)

  1. Suicide by cop opens many questions that involve much paperwork. Sorry for the life that could have used some prioritizing and follow-through.

    1. Yes, I read the article a couple of times before I figured it out.

      Sometimes people can be helped. Sometimes they can’t. I hope somebody tried in this case, even if they didn’t succeed.

  2. So sad yet so common in todays news. Everyday we seem to open the day with these type of situations. I wonder where the answers are myself. Mental health is currently being focused across the Nation. Drugs awareness seems to have been a topic in the last 50 years, Much is blamed on the law/law breakers. We are a broken system across the country. Maybe there is to much media exposure? Yes may she rest in peace.

  3. America’s fascination with celebrity is indeed excessive. Little has been said, even about this event, about the others who lost their lives in the crash. So many like Angel—gone-” l hope this means peace and quiet can return to the neighborhood,” is not much of a eulogy.

  4. Thank you Ray. This is a random act of kindness. One of my (sad) hobbies is to visit a website called Newser that prints abbreviated articles. I like to find the most innocuous stories and then read the comments to see how people bend the topic with a political purpose. Society has degraded so rapidly. I’m glad that type stays off wordpress.

    1. I don’t usually read the comments, but the story was so scant I thought someone might add some detail to her story. I was really surprised to see all that junk.

      I truly believe that the internet (and social media in particular) will hasten the collapse of Western Civilization.

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