"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Never Ready


An old friend of mine whom I've known for nearly a decade, who knows me like no one on this planet knows me, sent me a text message yesterday letting me know his mom died that afternoon.

I left work and rushed to his place and held him as he cried. He was extremely close to his mom. They had one of these unshakable bonds, each other's champions. I spoke to her last week when she was in the hospital. I last saw her in December and she was strong as can be. It doesn't feel like she's gone.

A number of his friends came over his place to comfort him, some of whom I had not seen in years. I was particularly pleased to see N whom my friend and I both loved. She had gotten married and had two daughters since I saw her last. She hugged me and introduced me to her husband as my friend's very best friend. We looked at each other then, and smiled. We didn't dispute it. It seemed ok not to. It simply wasn't the time.

His sister asked me if her brother was ok. I told her no. I think he's not allowing himself to grieve fully yet and that knowing him, he probably feels the need to pull himself together for now, but there will be moments when he's alone that he will feel the enormity of the emptiness of his heart, and that's when he'll grieve. Then as a caveat, I told her that I was merely guessing of course. He may have changed drastically in the years since we had both chosen to leave the room.

My heart grieves when I think of him now, knowing how much he loved his mom. I grieve because it touched my heart that she always wanted to see me, even when her son and I had a falling out. I grieve because she tried to be a good mother, and she was. Her arms always open, her eyes always kind.

This year has been fraught with deaths and near-deaths. And someone last night commented that since my friend's mom died at 72, my friend had had a good number of years having his mom around. That makes sense to my mind, but to my heart it never seems enough, and we are never, never ready. Even when we feel that we are.

Lord, hold Tita L close and hold D and his sisters closer.

(Photo credit: David G Kelly)

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