Thursday, April 06, 2006

Five Years Ago

When I look back down the road this year on the fifth anniversary of Ben’s death,
I wonder if I will still be able to glimpse his countenance from a distance of 1,825 days.

Remembering is difficult when we have forgotten where we last saw the notepad.

(This may explain the reason for which our offices are so cluttered by the collections of sticky notes that festoon our computer monitors.)

Ben was no different in this respect than anyone else.

Although he might not have understood his own nature, which meant living for the moment, he was nevertheless a remarkable person of the "present tense whose wristwatch" read:

“is” rather than either
“was” or “will be”.

Something about this fifth anniversary seems to have triggered a “melancholia” that I feel ... perhaps best explained by the arrival of the yahrzeit[1] notices from the funeral home, my shul and the “chevra kadisha”[2]-reminders of feelings which become more acute as another anniversary approaches of that

dreadful day.

For the first time, I have chosen to remain unshaven during the whole of this bitter month as a visible reminder of the difficulty of this time of year as if to magnify the sadness I feel ...

not so much that I am getting older,

but that Ben isn’t.

He remains forever young.

[1] The observance of the anniversary of a death.
[2] Jewish Sacred Society

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