Some days I feel middle aged. Oh wait, I am. Today, I feel old. It’s been a week of grieving…grieving Benji’s death. Crying with his family over the impossibly difficult scenario of relinquishing their grip on one of their boys. Benji’s father, Allen and I have been “talk multiple times a week, eat a meal together weekly” kind of friends for 20 some years and Benji’s mom, Cindy, was a friend long before that. Allen and my conversations would often be about- “How’s Benji? Is Cindy ok? How about the other boys? What about you?” We talked about the possibilities of what we deemed to be an early departure for Benji…but always with the confidence that “surely the research that is ongoing will provide a cure”.
But a cure didn’t come and now, I wonder what the topic of conversation will be the next time we eat a meal together.
Probably, “Is Cindy ok? How about the boys? What about you?”
For the first time since Benji came into our lives, we are confident of his condition. How ironic that in his death we have this seemingly supernatural reality that all is well with him…for the first time….ever.
I’ve lost grandparents and aunts and uncles to death but they were supposed to die. Death is expected when we grow old. It’s one thing to grow accustomed to a child moving into a college dorm or into their own home and either way, we expect that they will grow in their independence, we don’t expect to see them every day or maybe even talk to them daily – that’s normal.
This is, not so much.
It’s a new, strange, paradigm shift. Perhaps with time it will become the new normal and perhaps, with time my friends will embrace the new normal…but not yet, not now.
I love how our friend Beverly, closed her tribute at the memorial service: “…to Allen and Cindy,” I say, “well done my friends, well done”.
So say I.