July 25 1979-September 17 2006

October 11th, 2006 § 0 comments

Can one day be both wonderful and completely horrible? It must be possible because it was. Jackie and I stood outside looking at the backyard, all ready for the memorial later that night, and she told me about the night he died. We were grave, but it was such a nice day, it was not so sad. I looked out at the lawn and said it all looked nice, she agreed, and then said she wished it was a wedding instead. We laughed and agreed that would have been better. As Shem pointed out later when I told him, it’s a different kind of drunk you get at weddings.

It seems people often want to push the reality away, and when I walked into the house the first thing I noticed were the pictures of Jon that were not there, pictures that have been there as long as I have. It was a disturbing moment, the idea that they had disappeared all evidence of him, then I realized that they had been taken for the slide show. Empty frames are always strange, but even more so when someone has died. Relief.

The memorial gathering was the strangest and the most unpleasant. Since I knew Jon for most of his life, I knew most of the people who were there, and unlike my family, most came out of specific times and places in his life, school, acting, family, old girlfriends, etc. And of all these groups no one remembered me. They all knew my brother, but not me. The old home-schoolers had not seen me since I was little, a child, and once I told them who I was they would say, “of course”. Nicole informed me that in their defense I used to be really shy, and when anyone said hello to me I would hide behind my mothers “left” leg. This is true, but I was watching them all the same, and remember specific details. Then came the theater people who I knew as a preteen, who did not notice me and I did not bother to point this out. Jon’s teenage friends who used to hit on me, much to the dismay of Jon and my brother, did not remember me either but hit on me all the same.

Of everyone there was little to no one of interest to talk to, although Shem seemed happy to see everyone again. I enjoyed talking to one of the Catholic boys, perhaps because he knew me, but the conversation was carefully monitored by his mother who was clearly uncomfortable with him talking, and enjoying it, to a heathen. All in all, at such social functions as these I would find Jon, and there is no substitute for that sort of company and conversation. I can see him sitting down awkwardly and saying, “so Lis, what does the word art really mean?”

After a weekend of about 8 total hours of sleep in 4 days, I went back to school the day after I got home. Susan asked if I was okay, and said she was sorry that I had to go through all that. She did not mean the memorial, but the death in general. So now that the memorial has taken place, it is over, sad but over, and life goes on. I told her to put it in the present tense. I am sorry you are going through this is a better thing to say. And the postcard I was waiting for finally came, and it makes more sense than most things combined.

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