Spoiler Alert: Contains emotions which may cause heartache. Written August 19, 2014
Another semester begins for me at work, yet I am counting the days. Eight, then seven days to go until August 26 . My mind and heart alternately remember the days; if one is remiss, the other reminds with a flash and a bang.
Gilad – I remember too well your last days: no longer moving around the house, no longer eating meals with us; your mind along with your body transitioning to an unknown place, the inevitable last stop on life’s journey. We wished you would be able to begin your sophomore year at University of Maryland, and you were registered and ready to go, but we somehow knew it would never come to be. You understood it as well, and it was heartbreaking to watch your acceptance of the inevitable, to see the result of years’ battle with disease fade into reluctance and acquiescence. But our hope remained, even until your last breath. Miracles can always happen while the heart still beats.
At the end of each summer, the point in time when you left us, I begin another semester anew, always thinking of you, forever taking you with me on an academic journey with other students. I guide them instead of you, I see their progress and graduation in place of yours. I observe their frustrations and successes as they make their way through a 4-year collegiate experience that you never had. Your picture is in my office, a locket with your smiling face is over my heart, and my passwords contain your name. I take you with me forever and always, a poor substitute for your own life, but it provides solace to me nonetheless,and helps me maintain the yin-yang balance of life which my grief therapists have encouraged me to find.
Another year begins, another year gone.