Colorful human hands with butterflies vector illustration design

My husband and I were walking back to our Lower Nob Hill home one hazy pink evening a few years ago when we heard screaming. In the time we’d gone to dinner, one of our neighbors had been found dead. When we arrived at our building, we found his hysterical girlfriend on the front steps, shrieking as first responders hustled past her to contain the scene.

I’m not trained as a medic or counselor, but my first impulse was to stay by her side. While my spouse joined neighbors assisting paramedics, I coaxed the wailing young woman to sit down. I don’t know how long we waited there together, but eventually one of her friends arrived, and I quietly went inside.