Elana and I got married a week ago. And three days ago, one of our best friends, one of my groomsmen, and one of the best guys I’ve ever had the honor to know, passed away suddenly.
The blow of finding out a best friend died suddenly is an entirely new world of horrible. We know the world of disease. We’ve done the cancer. We’ve seen a brother, son, and friend battle a disease for years before succumbing to it. We know of drawn out death. We’re all too familiar with that kind of pain. But the early morning unexpected phone call? The “are you sitting down?” The stunned disbelief? This is news to us.
And so here we are, on the early morning before Ilan’s funeral, trying to come to terms with this new kind of punch to the stomach. This new kind of overwhelming pain and sorrow. This new kind of horror.
So I turn to what I know – the written word, and music. Though I was always a fan, Ilan really made me get more into the Counting Crows – especially their live stuff. And though this song is from a free show they did in NYC that Ilan decided not to attend with us – he had good reason for not coming; a famous chef was cooking in a kosher restaurant in Manhattan. So he traded one of his passions for another that night, in a way only Ilan could.
Ilan – you were the greatest. Soft spoken, but always heard. Dedicated to your friends, your passions, and your loved ones. And the best birthday buddy a guy could ask for. I’m really going to miss you.
Counting Crows – Richard Manuel