Today has been… One of those days. A day where all you want to do is look up to the sky, throw your head back and ask “why??”. Today I attended the memorial service, burial, and shiva of a long time childhood friend, David Dubrow. David died in a house fire while away in Connecticut. It’s one of those life events that leaves you overcome with emotion… unable to clearly grasp how you feel. Am I shocked? Sad? Angry? Scared? Damn, life really isn’t fair…
The memorial was completely surreal. There we all are, sitting in the same temple that we all graduated elementary school in together. The last time I was in here, I was so happy, I thought to myself. There’s that eerie sensation in the air where you can feel everyone silently weeping to themselves…life is bizarre… The casket where David’s lifeless body was held. The rabbi singing songs on death and life and sending his soul on right. I began to look around and see faces from the past. I saw the faces of people who have been so dear to my heart over the course of my short life, completely overcome with grief and sadness. It broke my heart.
There were many moments where I felt like I couldn’t bare to feel it anymore- like when David’s father spoke. How can a parent live on after this? How is this okay? But in that moment I caught the eye of a distant face, a parent of a longtime friend, who pretty much helped raise me and who I will always credit much of my ability to make “wise decisions” for myself. It was in that moment that I felt okay to truly embrace these hard feelings. I felt that it was okay. Not a certainty or contentment with David’s death, but a small sliver of peace that experiencing this darkness was an opportunity for growth and an opportunity for light. Clenching on to my best friends arm as we cried together, our hearts were opened.
There’s this Rumi quote, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
As the service closed, the rabbi called on “everyone who is David’s friend” to come up and walk behind his casket as it exited the temple. It was then that I could see just how many people had showed up for support. People that I haven’t seen in over 10 years. People from all over the world. Everyone is here. Our hearts were broken. But they were open. And all was love.
Sitting here, on my bed, in the middle of the night, my cat close by. I look over and see my two best friends, peacefully sleeping. I’m so thankful for these guys. My heart is so full of love for the people that surround me. Sometimes it feels like it may burst. How is it possible for such a teeny tiny organ, to contain this much… feeling? I lean over and plant a kiss on Eddy’s head.
This is why we live. I believe we are alive to love. To come back to the realization that our true essence is love and nothing less. Although I wish it didn’t, sometimes it takes the death of someone so loving, so great, to take us to that earth shattering, heart wrenching, empty place, where we can truly feel that raw, open, pure, love.
We all found out in the service that David was able to successfully donate his heart to someone who needed it at that moment of his death. What an incredible last act of love… As I bring this entry to a close, my thoughts are no longer wrapped up in the pain of what today was, but in the love that now is. Although the process for so many is far from over, I know in my heart that so many are making it through based purely on the overwhelming amounts of love that was David and the act of everyone coming together for him. Being blessed with people who are able to be so freely loving keeps the colors in the world. It makes the sun shine brighter, and the wind feel softer. David is that love.
“At the end of your life, when you say one final ‘what have I done?’ Let your answer be ‘I have done love'”.