What a year. We thought last year was wild, well, we had no idea. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. For most of the world, it is a time for celebration, of looking forward, of anticipation of what is to come. Not so for us. 8 years ago, we buried our beautiful boy. I remember coming home from the cemetery shattered and hollow. We knew that New Year’s Eve would never be the same. We barely knew what day it was. Time has smoothed some of that over, but the underlying hurt never heals. We don’t “get past” something like this, we don’t “get over it”, we merely get by. So for the past 8 years, we have been getting by.
What do si have to share? What new have I learned this past year? Nothing revelatory, nothing earth-shaking. We go on with our day-to-day routine. We don’t go many places, as the world is still in the grip of the pandemic. We did go north for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with dear friends and their family, but one member of our own family was painfully absent. It was a lovely time to be sure, but all good times are now tempered with a measure of sadness, a thought of what could have been. What was supposed to be.
My Mom passed away in July, just a few days short of her 88th birthday. A short yet aggressive illness, it was s surprise to all of us, her not the least. It was unexpected but mercifully swift. Less than two weeks from the emergency room with a painful backache to … She lived a full and complete life. Artist, teacher, musician, mentor and friend to many, she had a love of life and new adventures that was remarkable. She is on her final adventure now.
For years we stayed here in great measure because of her. To take care of her. And so we did. Now that she is gone, we have to decide where we are going to go. There is very little holding us here, we don’t have a huge circle of friends, we don’t need to be here for work as we did for so many years in the film business. The city has changed but not necessarily for the better. Where do we go? That is the million-dollar question. We grapple with that, we could go here or there. My lifelong attachment to L.A. is waning. But as I say, if I knew where to go, I would already be there. I am occupied in measure with the affairs of her estate, which should take a few months to conclude. And then what?
But I digress.
What do we do with our grief? We carry it around in a little parcel, wrapped up and away from our daily emotions, but it can come bursting through at any moment. A sound, a smell, a sight, and it all comes flooding back. We soldier on. We take as much pleasure as we can but there is a fundamental difference between the Now and the Then. That can never change. The gash has scarred over, we can laugh and enjoy a concert, a dinner with friends, the beauty of nature, but at the end, there is still a hollowness that will never go away. Always there is the “Jake would like this”, lurking in the shadows.
A couple of years ago, by now, we got a call from a friend who had a ‘vision’ that she wanted to share with us. I will do so in the next post, it is a message from Jake she was tasked to deliver. Since it appears as if I have nothing much new to say, and it has been a year since we were here, I think I might take a leave for a while from the Fountain. It continues to flow and I wish all of you who are in this dreadful club, a New Year of whatever peace you can eke out, a safe and healthy year, and my wish for you to carry your burden as lightly as possible.