I have not been on word press for the past several weeks due to an unforeseen tragedy.

My husband Lorin and I and our five cats were driving to Savannah, Georgia on September 28 with a loaded car, ready to start a new life, to escape the rat race of New York / New Jersey. The movers were at the house from 1 p.m. till around 7 p.m. We started the drive at around 7:20 p.m.

We drove through the night without sleep, enduring a torrential rain storm, unscathed. By seven a.m. Thursday, September 29, we were both bleary and falling asleep; Lorin at the wheel. I begged him to pull over, but he said we only had 70 miles left to go and we would be in Savannah in an hour.

At some point we both must have dozed off. I opened my eyes to see a silver oil tanker truck directly in front of us–seemed like inches away. I screamed for Lorin to veer off to the left side. He did so, and our car rolled and tumbled violently down a grassy hill. When the car came to a full stop, I pried open the passenger door and ran out. Lorin was lying in front of the car, his right leg bent slightly up, left cheek pressed to the earth, blood pouring from his ear and mouth. I screamed for help, crying hysterically.

A nurse who must have witnessed the accident came running out of her car to help. She checked his vitals and tried to revive him, but it was too late. Tears streamed down her face. She said, “I’m so sorry. He’s gone.”

I begged her to revive him, to help him. I begged Lorin not to leave me.

Our belongings were scattered on the grassy area and all over the road. It looked like a plane crash. Only two of our cats, Sylvester and Bernie, were in view. They were struggling to get up, but could not move. I didn’t see the others.

An EMT escorted me to an ambulance, saying I needed to go with him. He asked to take my blood pressure, but I refused. I asked him to please help my husband.

He asked if there was anyone I needed to call and asked where I kept my phone. It was not in my purse. I said it was in my purse. He gave me his phone so I could call family members, first Lorin’s mother who lives in Savannah. I was terrified she would be angry with me and wish I was dead instead of Lorin. I felt the same way when I called his grandmother on Long Island, but got her voicemail, asking her to call me back, but not conveying the news. I asked if someone could help my cats, and the EMT said animal control was on its way and he later gave me their card. Through the window of the ambulance, I saw someone placing a pale blue blanket over Lorin.

“Where are they taking him?” I said.

The EMT said he didn’t know.

I called my father and my best friend Nancy, asking her to please tell my other friends.

I was taken to a hospital in Colleton County, South Carolina and seen by a nurse, social worker and physician. I asked about my cats. The social worker told me that two had died at the scene, and three were taken to the vet. Quincy and Bernie died at the scene. Karl and Sylvester went to the vet; Sylvester was undergoing surgery. Both Karl and Sylvester died.

The nurse gave me two Ativan and the doctor gave me a 10 day prescription of the same.

The social worker returned to my bed saying that one of my cats survived unharmed–Samson. They brought him to me at the hospital.

I don’t remember anything after that. I don’t remember going to my mother-in-law’s home in Savannah or who drove us.

My stepmother came to Savannah two days later to provide support and assistance.

I am so torn up inside, trying to get through each hour and each day the best I can.


38 thoughts on “Loss

  1. Of course, hitting “like” feels bizarre, as I am deeply sad, and do not “like” at all that this tragedy has occurred, or that you are having to tell this story, over and over. But that is the way of the world, and of love, that when we lose our loved ones, whether through death, or divorce, or moving away, we must craft the story, figure out what to say next, and what after that, and after that. I am engaged with the simplicity of the story as you tell it here, and brought back again to the sound of your voice in my ear that morning, and where I sat, and what I was looking at as we talked. You were still in shock. I think of you every day, and wish for you some kind of peace. And for Lorin, I wish that he gets to reach out to you on the etherial plane and provide you with comfort, and see you move forward into a happy and fulfilled life. Sending you love, my friend and writing colleague.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, no words. Your honesty and openness to write this amazes me. I don’t know if I could do it. I don’t know why this happened or why anything like this ever happens. I will not even imagine how you feel. I know we only have met a couple of times, but I think you are a powerful woman and you need to take all the time you need to deal with this. If you are in NYC I can offer you my services of some body work: Reiki, Massage, whatever you need. No charge. Grief is a difficult emotion and it processes in all different ways. if you need me: jackieherbach@gmail.com


  3. The honesty and pain that you write about amazes me. I don’t know if I could do it. It is raw. I cannot even imagine how this feels. To lose a husband is jolting. I don’t know why this happened or why things like this happen. It makes no sense. Grief is a tricky emotion. It processes in all different ways. You will find your ways. I have only met you a couple of times, but I see you as a powerful woman-perhaps some of that power may help you in this process. I want you to know if you want me to work on you as a massage therapist at some point-please reach out to me. Touch can be healing. We can do whatever you want. There is no charge for this. I’m praying for you. Much love, Jackie


  4. Erica, I am so very sorry to hear this. We met only once a few years ago at an audition and since then I’ve followed your blog and family through your NJ life. It was only the other night when telling a friend how you’ve inspired me that I learned of this tragedy and have been haunted ever since by the scene on that southern highway. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s anything I can do. Prayers have been sent. Harvey.


  5. Wow, what a chain of events. One more hour to go. My God, how difficult this must be. I don’t have the words to adequately say how sorry I am that this level of tragedy has befallen your family. So, I’ll just pray that you find the strength to go on. Will keep you in our prayers, may Lorin’s soul rest in peace.


  6. Erica, I am sobbing. To go through such a thing – it’s unthinkable and no one deserves it. I am so sorry for your losses – and yet, that sounds like nothing, it sounds like it means nothing. But I mean it with all of my heart, all of my tears. I wish there were something I could do. If there is, you know where to find me, and when you’re ready, please feel free to write. I’m thinking of you here and of your beloved Lorin and your cats and keeping thoughts of you in my heart and prayers. I am glad they brought Samson to the hospital for you to hold. I hope many more comforts – even small ones – will come to you. Sending love and an embrace to you and to Samson, from all the way over here.


  7. I just now realized I’ve been holding my breath the entire time reading this nightmare, hoping all the while it would turn out to be a really really bad dream–and now I’m devastated. I cannot think of anything else to say, Erica. I’m just so damned sorry. So horrendously sorry. I’m thinking back over the past week or so of some Facebook posts you put up with no indication at all that something so horrific had happened to you. This just whacked the living hell out of me. I’m so so sorry.


  8. I am so very sorry. I couldn’t imagine for anything how this must feel for you and your family. I feel like I’ve known you through your blog but more importantly have come to know Lorin and your cats from your post. You will be in my thoughts. JC

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As I read this I was caught up in everything I was doing that morning. Watching the news and so grateful you and Lorin were not here dealing with the train crash in Hoboken. Just as Janice and I were drinking our coffee and saying that, is when I go the call from your brother. Then I spoke to you and I wanted to reach through that phone and hold you that morning…the terror and shock in your voice….I can’t even articulate it. Day by day, hour by hour and breath by breath you will come up from this horror and loss. Know that you’re embraced by love and compassion, from all around, from unexpected places too.Your beautiful precious cats are love, all love… Love, all the love Lorin had for you will never disappear, you carry that with you forever dear friend. Love is forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Erica, I touched base on Facebook and again here, just to let you know how profoundly this news has shocked and saddened me (I met Lorin once, shaking his hand after your wonderful one-woman show in Garrison. I “knew” your cats from pics. Quincy looked like my Mi-ro.) That pocket of bravery and strength you have in your heart? It is real, and it will grow. I wish you some peace, each and every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Never in a million years did I expect the horrific answer to, ” I miss Suburban Hobo, where’s Erica?”
    Beyond my most heartfelt condolences and profoundly monumental sorrow, adjectives pale – inadequate
    in their mission to convey. Instead meditating on the quintessential; the great good fortune of the deep and abiding love you and Lauren experienced in this all too fragile and temporary life, yet resonates throughout eternity. Wishing you peace and strength of that love, now and always.


  12. Gut wrenching. I can’t even imagine the pain and sense of loss. I hope you find solace in memories of your beloved and the soft purring of Sampson. Blessings to you, Erica.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your husband, your cats, the future you had planned. I do not know you, but I wept with horror and grief as I read your words, I so wish that I could somehow mitigate your suffering. Please take care of yourself, your husband would want you to do that. Be kind and gentle with yourself. I will be thinking of you and wishing you peace. You will live again, there will be happiness again for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello from an old Open member. I heard about you from Alyssa and Matt Paust and Cranky. So sorry for your loss and thank you for writing it out. I remember your work on Open and you are amazing. Big Hug for you. Huuuugggggg


  15. Oh….my….God…..I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible I feel. I am so, so, so very sorry, Erica. So very, very sorry….I’m holding close in thought and prayers…. (((HUGS))) ❤ Lucie


  16. Erica – I am so sorry. I can’t imagine what you are going through. Your husband gone and only one cat to comfort you. Kommando Kitty is sitting with me and wants me to send purrs and cuddles on her behalf. Which is probably better than anything I can do. Please take care of yourself.


  17. Babe, I’m a total crap friend for not being in touch and I am only finding out now thanks to a photo that popped into my news feed. You are SO strong. I love and miss you and am here for you, if you need to talk, cry, vent… I can also massage and give Reiki. As a friend; gratis, of course. Please let me know if you’d like to meet for a meal or tea. Please forgive me for being so out of the loop.

    Love, Annette


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