Springtime without Gilad

As spring begins, so continues the impossible task of entering a new season without Gilad for the first time. And for some reason, this season is more difficult to handle. Maybe it’s the promise that it usually brings with it. The excitement that each day brings, and the inexplicable happiness that this season lends to each day. For us, some of that is missing.
Gilad isn’t here to talk about the Orioles and is unable to enjoy their surprisingly successful start. He’s not here to talk Fantasy Baseball. We can’t talk about possibly making the trek to Bonnaroo this year. He won’t be coming to any summer concerts; neither Eddie Vedder nor Dispatch. We won’t see him sporting those electric blue pants, his boat shoes, or his ironically old school sunglasses. He won’t be hanging out on our front porch sporting his bong. There’s no World Cup for us to pretend to be soccer fans for and no USA jerseys to wear. Spring has arrived, and yet Gilad is still gone.
My company recently moved and my new commute passes by the place I sat as I got the phone call. The phone call which told me, through my mother’s choked sobs, that Gilad took his final breath. The corner where I stood waiting for that cab; the sharp pain of loss, the numbing feelings of disbelief, and the constant throbbing in my chest. Things are different now; feelings are more muted but no less sad, my heart isn’t in constant pain but it still aches. My life is wonderful and my wife makes it amazing, but there is and always will be someone missing from that, and the Springtime somehow makes us more painfully aware of that fact.
I wanted to share something my mother wrote on her blog yesterday.

It has been seven months, and fifteen days since Gilad passed from this world. I go to sleep, I wake up, and Gilad is not here. The laundry piles up, the clothes get washed, folded and worn again, but Gilad’s pile is gone. I cook meals and shop but I don’t buy his favorite foods anymore; once he stopped eating I started to forget what he liked…
… Another Shabbat comes and goes, another week passes without Gilad. Time slips through our fingers as we move farther away from Gilad’s last day on earth, his last breath. Another season is here, the trees and flowers are blooming, the grass is turning green, life is returning to the earth. Things are growing, but not Gilad. I go to sleep, I wake up, and Gilad is still not here. He is not here and he will never be with us again in our world. 

We miss you Gilad.
Eddie Vedder – My City of Ruins

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