It’s been one full year since Gilad passed away. A full year without our beloved brother, son, uncle, friend. A full year without that stunning smile that could light up a room, without that quick wit, without that unbending yearning to read and learn and understand both life and death.
On my way to work, I stopped by the place where I got the phone call, learning that Gilad had taken his last breath. I stopped by that bus stop in Waltham, and sat in my car for a few minutes, just remembering. Not remembering the horrible content of the call, or how our lives changed so much in its wake. Remembering those last moments when Gilad was still alive. Because that’s how I always want to remember him – smiling, alive, happy, and healthy.
Throughout this year, so much has happened and so much has changed. Right afterward Gilad died, I wrote about how I would think of something that I wanted to tell Gilad, immediately realizing that I could no longer do so, and the crushing feeling that comes with that. But as the weeks turned into months, that happened less, and the pain and sorrow became less constant; the never-ending throbbing in my heart turned into a lump in the back of my throat, and then to an ache that was only present here and there, as if brought on by changes in the weather.
This is the process of grief. We think. We remember. We laugh. We cry.
This past Sunday, we had the unveiling of Gilad’s gravestone. And like the weather, we couldn’t make up our minds as to the tone of the ceremony. As the sun turned to thunderstorms and back around again, our stories went from sad to happy, and both tears and laughter filled our faces.
We thought. We remembered. We laughed. We cried.
So it’s been a year. The crushing pain is far removed. Those once lucid memories are now somewhat foggy and muddled. But we still keep Gilad in our hearts and minds. We still think of Gilad flashing that charming smile. We remember him crawling through sewer pipes, copying his older brother’s outfits, playing guitar in the hallways at school, or just chilling. We remember him as he was – amazing, smart, charming, clever, and great.
Gilad, we miss you more than ever, but we’re doing our best to still be ok, and to continue living, even though sometimes it hurts so much to go on without you. We miss you, and we will always love you.
Bon Iver – Blood Bank
LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great
The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardener