Last Tuesday night, my cousin, Tom Lorigan, was stabbed and killed in Greenville, PA. His daughter, Heather, was also stabbed in the head. She is in critical condition, almost a week later now.
I can’t say that I was close to either. I had little dealings with them over the past years. Tom was living down the road from my father at my grandparents’ old house, through some turns of events. Much of the Sorg side of my family seemed detached, from my point of view. Things just stopped after Grandpa died, and Grandma’s deteriorating condition set this drift in stone. My immediate family was closer than ever. So I didn’t know what to think, going up for the funeral. I was shocked at the events. Mortified that it was my family. But I didn’t get hit with the emotional impact of what and who it was until Monday morning. My cousin Andy had a beautiful speech about Tom. Even taking responsibility for the “long hair trend” he started as a high school rocker, that spread to Tom, and still lives on with my father, brother, and myself. Connie came up as well. I knew she grew up alongside all of the Lorigan boys. So I expected something from her.
I honestly never had much interaction aside from all of those family gatherings that I’ve long forgotten about, I suppose. The mentions about Tom being the bit of a prankster, playing with snakes (which I, for one, hated it, and not still fond of snakes). I remembered playing with Heather and Rachel, and always running into them in the hallways when I transferred to Greenville for my last years of school. They were just there. And now they’re not.
This is something that won’t die, really. Heather is still in the hospital, fighting for her life. I don’t think I could possibly expect a “full” recovery from the injuries she received. Two very young children witnessed this event, and will be affected for years to come. Greenville will feel it for a long time, much like a high school suicide that occurred before I came along. Just a glance at this message board gives you an idea of what’s going one up there. The man arrested just hung himself Saturday in his jail cell. That is one less source of answers to this damn thing.
And what a commentary on our day when, minutes after seeing the article naming the killers’ arrest, I found myself on a myspace page for the girl mentioned. It was a surreal moment to see this page with the two of them, and “friends” and comments back and forth with the kids and their mother and Heather’s sister. I didn’t even know Tom had a myspace page until it was mentioned in the newspaper.
This was a horrible incident. And it’s going to get worse, and probably weirder, before it gets better.