“She is gone and the moment she became gone is captured over and over again for the whole world to see.”
When you experience the loss of anyone close to you, it is inevitably extraordinarily difficult to process everything in the aftermath.
For Georgina Buckley, her grief came with a unique set of circumstances.
The loss she experienced was that of her best friend, Alison Parker. Alison was the reporter who was shot and murdered along with the cameraman, Adam Ward, on live TV on August 26th of this year.
In a piece written for XOJane, Georgina has shared the immense grief she has experienced – and what she wants the world to know about her best friend.
Georgina’s shock was absolute – and the horror was on every screen:
I saw her face on news channels over, and over, and over. Seeing her scream. There will not or cannot be anything worse. Ever. It is agony.
I want to say that I did what everyone told me to do – shut down the television, don’t look, but I could not. I watched every single ugly time I saw her scream. I screamed, too. I wanted the narrative to change. I wanted her to jump off the railings or anything. Something. I was addicted to the what-ifs.
She is and was Alison. I’d slept in bed with her, drank with her, loved her, laughed with her, cried with her, and this is how it ended.
For Georgina, Alison was special.
“I have not gone through anything in my life. I went through school, I went through college, I went through law school, I went through the bar exam, I went through being overweight and bullied when I was a kid, I went through being stupidly addicted to Nyquil, I went through losing a few wonderful dogs. I went through my brother going to war (and coming back). Normal stuff.
I am a Mary Sue. I say “like” and “cute” and “I can’t even.” I shake my hands when I make a point and I overpluck my eyebrows. I spend too much money at Whole Foods because long-winded descriptions of organic salmon turn me on. I am a dime a dozen.
She was not. She really was not. It should have been anyone but her.”
Georgina went on to write about Alison’s strength:
“She was the best of us. I cannot shout this or say this loud enough. I cannot throw enough stupid crystal glasses at walls or scream enough. I cannot get drunk enough to outrun it.
She was and always will be better than me. I think that is the worst part, knowing you’re still here and someone who could have done more for this universe is gone…
Once, she confided in me that when she was younger, kids used to make fun of her because her brother was autistic. She defended him, of course. It never occurred to her to shy away from a fight. She was Alison Parker. Strong as hell.”
One of her most poignant points was one that many others who have lost someone have also uttered, that of the false luxury of time:
“We always knew we’d see each other — and we did. We also knew we had the luxury of time, but we didn’t.”
Georgina explained that as with anyone experiencing loss, there is a compulsion to replay every moment that you did, or didn’t have together.
Inevitably, this may lead to some wishes for life to be different:
“I wish I had flown up earlier and gone white water rafting with her, Katy, Chris, and her parents instead of starting my job early. I wish I had gone to her graduation instead of panicking over my first set of law school exams.
I also wish that people like the shooter were not able to buy a gun, but wishes are useless unless there is action behind them.”
Importantly, it was clear that Georgina wanted the world to know that her friend Alison was so much more than the brutal way she was murdered:
“We were normal. We were real. She is real. She is gone and the moment she became gone is captured over and over again for the whole world to see. There will never be a time I can’t see her death. But I will try and make sure we can see more of her life.”
You can read Georgina’s full piece at XOJane.