“The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound but the loss cannot be repaired.” (Robert Southey)
This week’s been hard. This week, of every February, has been very hard for the past … three years. It bears the mark of one of my most amazing friends , whom I (and the rest of the world) have lost to a brain tumor in 2008. Or should I say, it bears the mark of his diagnosis (in 2007) and death, a year later?!
Things are never pretty when death comes, and they are certainly more ugly when it comes to sever a young life. They are unbearable when it hits so close to home, as it was when Jeff passed, two years ago.
In two years, things have not changed much. For me. I still miss him every day, just the same. I miss his smile. And his dimples. His humor and wit, his healthy laugh. His down-to-earth-ness. His class. His ever so proud left handedness. I still miss our arguments and our dog walks… I miss his passion for living, most of all. His gusto with which he threw himself at each day. His complete lack of wishy-washy-ness. His determined driving.
I stop for a moment, every night to pray for his strength, wherever he is, just like I promised him two years ago. I still listen to his voice mail – the last one he left me… I miss him still, with this sharp pain in my chest, when I want to share sports or political news with him, or when I take a trip or when I have to tell him what else is new in my life. This sharp pain of a sigh when I reach for the phone to dial his number, and I catch myself - he’s no longer there.
Maybe this is why this song (see link below) spoke to me so loudly. One morning, this past week, I was driving, like I do every morning, by the hospital. And just like I do every time I drive by the hospital, I thought of Jeff. The minute my car stopped at the light on
The time stood still for the five minutes the song played, and I swear I could hear him breathe next to me, in the passenger’s seat. It was eerie. It spoke to me because I felt like I heard from it the very words I could say to him. Now, and always. I cried, as I drove off, and as I have learned to do for the past two years: just move on, one day at a time, as life would have it, with the past, and the pain inside of my heart.
Rest in peace, Jeff , and thank you, again for the gift of you. Because of you, Februaries are never going to be the same, and neither will my life; but then again that is the true mark of a great man: they live and die to make a difference.
Love always, your G. A. …