Driving home from the pediatricians today (Ella has croup, likely brought on by the flu), we heard on the radio that actor Heath Ledger had died. Tom and I turned to each other, confused. “I always liked him” my husband said, a perfect Brokeback Mountain set up, had my eyes not been tearing up. “Oh his poor Matilda,” I said, and looked back at our girls.
Matilda is just a few months older than Ella. My Ella who, every morning, wakes up her dad with tickles, and who is right now curled up his arms asleep. Tom is 29, Ledger was 28. Mind you, Ledger and Tom live very different lives, but if reports are to be believed, it looks like he died of an overdose of sleeping pills, which many are calling suicide. And you don’t have to be famous to be in the kind of pain that makes you just want to fall asleep and not wake up.
Maybe the reports are wrong – maybe it was just an accident, and I hope for Matilda’s sake that it was. But that doesn’t bring back her father, and it doesn’t make my heart ache any less for her. She is two. She will not remember him.
It makes me panic, to tell you the truth. Because then I realize that Tom’s father died when he was 14, and my mother died when I was 18, and we are not guaranteed to be here for our girls and