It’s curious how this works, I still haven’t figured it out. Granted, I am very new at this, but it is all a mystery.
Last night we had dinner at our friend’s house. These are people who knew Jake well; their daughter and he became fast friends on a tall ship summer camp around ten years ago. They were scuba buddies and everyone on the trip wanted to know if they were brother and sister. They looked like they could have been. When they came off the ship, they introduced us to each other, we all became friends, and remained friends ever since.
We had a lovely time; they prepared an elaborate sushi spread complete with miso soup, salads, the freshest fish, hot sake and beer. We ate. We drank. We reminisced. We laughed. We watched the Jimmy Kimmel after-Oscar show. We laughed some more. For all appearances, a nice, normal evening with good friends.
Today, it is as if we experienced a backlash, recompense for that ‘happiness’. I awoke in a melancholy state of mind. Then, while saying the last Kaddish, a huge wave of sorrow washed over me, unbidden and unforeseen. It has been a while since one of these hit me so powerfully. It was all I could do to whisper the remainder of the blessing, run to my car and navigate the few blocks home. Yes, I drove four blocks. Hey, I live in Los Angeles, what do you expect me to do, walk?
When I got home, I crawled into bed and fought to go back to sleep. Drifting in and out of consciousness, vague dreams I can’t recall visited me. I finally dragged myself out of bed and restarted my day. A few inconsequential errands: smog check, automobile registration at the triple A, shopping for a Minestrone soup I will make tomorrow. Somehow, cooking gives me a tiny bit of surcease. It is as if Jake is in the kitchen with me. I always recall the last time we cooked together, Thanksgivukkah. Frying latkes, finessing the turkey gravy, presenting the meal to our closest friends and family.
The cloud of sadness hovered over me all day, much like the uneven gray sky after the recent storms.
It is so random, so unpredictable, these Grief Spasms. I thought one would hit this weekend, the confluence of the 9th Shabbat, and the second month since Jake’s passing. But no, they hit without warning, like an earthquake. No satellite picture to give notice, no Doppler radar, just the solid whump of unexpected sorrow as it crashes into me like a Mack truck.
It is evening now, the day mercifully over. Perhaps tomorrow will be better. I can’t tell from here what it will be like. Truly it is a moment-by-moment thing. What doesn’t change, and is always certain, is the ache I feel for him, how much I miss him. As Lowell George said,, “I tell you true, it hurts the way I’m missin’ you.”