I had intended on my latest blog post to be about friendships reemerging and whether that was positive or negative. Life has a funny way of altering your perception of what is important.
That blog has been shelved for the time being.
This is about grief and loss. A good friend of mine passed away suddenly this past week. A life so teeming with future possibility and potential.
My friends are devastated and distraught. I know someone passing away does that to you but the amount of community we have with each other is both reassuring to me and heartbreaking that it is occurring in the first place. I can’t begin to imagine how his family is holding up or faring. My heart is broken for them, my prayers revolve around them.
I find myself caught between trying to convince myself this isn’t real, he’s not gone forever and being angry that he was taken so soon. He had everything lined up to move, to find himself and grow, to continue becoming the true star he was. I’m sad for all the things he will miss. The joy of marriage, children, trips across the world, gone.
I’m angry I didn’t spend a bit more time with him. I’m confused. I’m strangely not questioning my own mortality, which I hear is normal. Instead it’s just a really good stage of denial – like heavy denial. The finality of this is so hard to wrap my head around.
I feel guilty laughing or enjoying myself. I know that’s the total opposite of what he would have wanted. It is as if the cloak of sadness is required for my mourning. It reminds me of the black head scarves women wear during the days following the death of a loved one or community member.
I don’t know how to deal with this… this sadness that seems so pervasive and unpredictable. I have not dealt with death like this. I have not felt death like this.
I find myself looking for answers. Poems on how death has affected mankind for centuries. Scripture from Torah. Chabad has been a salve on my heart. I’ve looked to my husband and mother for answers. I have yet to find any.
This was not the way I expected to start the New Year. We say “shana tova umetuka” to wish a sweet new year. I did not expect to say “baruch dayan emet” or have a name to say during the mourners kaddish. This Yom Kippur just became so much more painful and meaningful. Part of me wishes to abandon work for a while, to simply sit in a shul, any shul and cry and question and be quiet.
But I know that life must go on. Life is a gift. Garett was a gift and he gave beautifully.
I hope we do nothing short of make him proud.