Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What We Have Lost

On March 7, one of the last days before everything here in Massachusetts shut down, Hannah and I attended the funeral of a recent graduate from her high school, a part of her theater community. She didn't know him well, and I've only met the mother a handful of times, but her choir was asked to sing and we both thought it was important to be there. I was already concerned about the virus, being packed in to a small chapel in what would surely be an overwhelming crowd. But going was the absolute right thing to do. Being part of that community, showing up. That's what you do, even when it's hard.

And then my own mother died unexpectedly, on March 22. A Sunday. We'd been home a little more than a week. I'd had a board meeting that morning. The four of us rushed to Ohio for what would be an eight person graveside service. My dad didn't want to hug us when we arrived. My aunt, who I hadn't seen in 15 years, wouldn't hug us either. My brother and his family watched over FaceTime, unable to travel across the country. We were lucky; I heard a few days after our ceremony that a friend had to bring her own shovel to help bury her father-in-law (a Jewish custom). At least we could all use the same shovel. My friends and family, my community, showed up in texts and emails and phone calls and food deliveries. That's what you do, even when it's hard.

Which brings me to today. Today, Hannah and I were supposed to be seeing back-to-back Broadway shows, even sitting in front row seats that I splurged in buying for tonight. This would have been our fourth annual trip to do our favorite thing. Instead, we will be at home, and *logging on* to a memorial service for an 18 year old that our community has lost, one of Hannah's friend's brothers, a frequent sight for us at temple. Heart-breaking. We showed up to pray for him. We will show up to honor him, to support his family and friends. That's what you do.

But, damn it, this is hard. So much loss, from plans to people. Just a hard, hard season. I know that we're not alone in all of this. And that even though it is hard, we will keep showing up where we can. But I am tired. Losses accrue. I am tired.

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