Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Is My Neighbor?

My next door neighbor was murdered by her husband during Holy Week. Probably Tuesday. The police obtained a search warrant and found her body on Maundy Thursday. She left a couple of daughters and a bewildered family.

It's hard to know what to do in a situation like this. The family isn't here. I did light a candle and place it in front of the house when we found out what had happened. But all gestures seem inadequate. She was a lovely woman, as far as I could tell. We honestly didn't have much contact, which also now seems inadequate. We chatted, most often about the weather. Kansas City affords a lot of weather-based conversation starters.

It's hard to wrap your mind around something like this. These are the things that happen on Law and Order, not in a bedroom two yards from where I'm sitting as I write this.

In the weeks since her death, the landlord has been readying her flat for rent, and the family has been packing up her stuff. At least I assume it's the family. About every third day, another box of her belongings appears on the curb. It's a stark reminder of the tragedy, and to be quite honest, I'll be glad when it stops. That's a lot of mortality out there on the concrete.