It’s been six years since my best friend passed away.
It was sudden, unexpected.
He was only 24 years old.
To this day, it is still hard to comprehend that insidious day.
Here are my reflections, six long years later.
Grief is an odd emotion. It changes with time, and yet it stays the same. It becomes less recurrent as time goes by, and yet, it can still hit you anytime, anywhere, without warning.
Whether it is a smell, a place, another emotion, or just because; the memories can pour in an instant and overwhelm you.
But what I’ve noticed as well, is that as time goes by, the good memories become more prevalent.
The smiles that come from them are more full of happiness than sadness. Yes, the sadness will always be there, but it is hard to tell if it’s just reduced or if the intensity is the same, and I’ve just learned to manage it, rationalize it, and understand it to some degree.
Whatever the case, this phase of grief is odd, to say the least.
I no longer have my best friend with me, and yet, the overwhelming emotion he gives me to this day is happiness.
I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, I don’t think it matters.
I only know it is beautiful.
I guess this is the “acceptance” phase.
It always pissed me off before to think about those terms: How could I accept that my best friend is just gone? How could I not be angry? How could I not be sad?
The term was quite confusing for me at the time.
Accepting that someone is gone is not only accepting the fact but the emotions that come with it. It might sound obvious, but it wasn’t for me, and for a long time, I struggled with it.
Only when I learned to accept my emotions with kindness did I allow myself to fully feel them.
I still cry at times, but during this acceptance phase, I’ve smiled and laughed a lot more.
Overall, I can only be grateful for the times we spent together.
Tears are sliding down as I write this because there was so much more we should have had together, but G-d had other plans.
I will cherish these memories and write about them for as long as I’m alive.
I’ll tell my children about you and carry you with me wherever I go.
I love you, man.
To Marcos Hirschfeld Z”L, my best friend.
<3 rest in peace Marcos!