New York Minute – March 13th 2011

How do I grieve?

How do I give in to this feeling of complete and utter shock, emptiness, all the layers of sadness. I lost a friend last week to a terrible and so unexpected plane crash. He was in the middle of his wonderful life full of romance, success and beautiful children. It made my heart stop. While he was missing and we were in limbo about his where about and being I simply felt disbelief, shock that I just received this phone call by his wife, asking me to help alert people (I have family and friends in the state where the plane apparently went down). Geez, I even went teaching a crowded yoga class, guided them through their vigorous evening Vinyasa; a class my students are looking forward to, and I love to teach. This time, I smiled and cheered and rocked with them but my mind was miles and miles away, somewhere in the deepest forest of snowed in Maine, just below the Canadian border. There my friend, so I later learned did not survive.

But how do I allow myself to give into and feel this extreme sense of loss when I think of his wife and her beautiful 6 children, all utterly well-behaved young educated adults who were so lucky to have had one of these so close relationships with their father that not being in touch with him for a couple of hours via blackberry they got suspicious naturally that something might have gotten wrong. Now, they need and do grieve how only blood and flesh and the love of their live can. But they seem so strung. They are being told that they will manage to see the light in life’s turn again. They are being told that they will adjust, as time goes by.

But I cannot and will not be strong. Am I allowed to slack here? How do I grieve now? How do I fit in this?

Last week I went through from utter shock to solid numbness to straight out crying. I would suddenly burst into tears in most random moments. My eyes would fill up in the crowded subway holding on to the strap and awaiting my exit. During my yoga teaching sessions, randomly while working out, on my long morning runs while New York is still sleeping at 6am. I was even hitting the treadmill so much harder than I ever had. Running the sadness away, running away from the images of him which have taken over my mind completely. I remember him and his particular, loving, caring and silly, clever and calming behavior, his comments, thoughts or simply the way he showed his love for his wife, his awesome character where ever I am. I see his face everywhere.

Am I allowed to cry with such sorrow, having been a friend of his for only the past 3 years? My man and I met him and his wife during a vacation in Vietnam. They live in Toronto, we in New York. A beautiful, solid, calm and non demanding long distance friendship developed with us visiting each other and planning trips together. We went on a fantastic Morocco trip, biking through the desert, the Atlas Mountains and discovered the beauty of Marrakech as recently as last November. Our friendship always seemed like a small flame constantly burning just so. As soon as we would make plans, see each other or simply reconnect via email this quiet flame would fire up warmly. We just clicked. We worked together spectacularly well.

My grieve? I am not his son, his daughter, his childhood friend, not his business day-to-day partner or friend; I am even a bit “just” the wife of a friend of his who is thus his friend.

During the Memorial service we heard a lot of speeches wrapping around his character and his abundance of giving to his city, to his business. He so truly loved and adored his family and people who met him took away a little bit of extra care, ideas, or enthusiasm or simply knowledge.

But I want to scream. I want to yell: But what about me? I miss you! I – we had plans together. What now? I want you back, I want my two happy friends back. The four of us where easily ready for another adventure together, we had plans for achieving silly ambassadorship, we would discuss crazy ideas whose solutions he would figure out with us. I wanted to have him extend his business to New York, just so I can see him creating, developing and building my neighborhood. I wanted to have them in my life. They nourished my sense of adventure; they opened our eyes to new things, laughter and crazy brainstorming. Brainstorming to get random, eccentric ideas turned into reality. He could do that. I want him back. I do not want to say: He lived a full life. NO, he is missing out. He had yet so much to do and see and love. We had yet to be with him so much more.

I find no peace.

Paul, I do. Miss. You.

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