My friend Ion’s memorial service is on Saturday. It’s going to be at a lifeguard tower in Santa Monica where he worked and saved lives for years. I miss him today. I keep seeing flashes of moments between us from over twenty years ago and I want to write them all down. Where will those moments go if I don’t trap them in words? Imprison them in prose?
Will they ever really have happened? Will the love, affection, connection, any of it have mattered? When I’m gone those memories will be gone too. But if I can write them down somewhere they can’t be erased, then maybe they will endure.
Or maybe I’m trying to write you back to life Ion? Not so you can be back in my life, but so you can continue your own.
The past and present seem to be all mixed up together right now. If Ion can die then anyone can. My closest loved ones can. And I’m confronted with my own mortality. And that nothing is promised.
So here is my game plan. I’m going to wallow in sadness until after the memorial service. Then I’m going to stop compulsively checking Ion’s Facebook page to read more stories written about him by his loved ones and to see more pictures capturing his various incarnations; model, lifeguard, actor, photographer, father, grandfather, man I loved for a summer and more. I’m going to go on with my life and stop thinking about death.
But at night I’m going to pray. I don’t know what I’ll say or who will listen, prayer has never come naturally to me. Nor has humility. But I am cracked open, just enough, to see what I need to learn.
I would love to hear your stories about walking through grief. Thanks for reading and supporting me. Love, love love S.