for C

A year ago, on the eve of Remy's first day of second grade, Caleb, who would also have been going into second grade, died. 

I'd known Caleb since before he was "the peach" (the term his mama, my friend E, gave him in utero). To say his death was shocking and horrifying and devastating would do a disservice to those words: it was beyond devastating. I spent most of last fall reeling. 

(And this is tangential grief. I knew Caleb but not the way his mama and dad and brother and family knew him. My grief touches the sun. Their grief is the sun: a bright consuming inferno.)

Today I need to honor that memory of Caleb's passing. That bright, horrible, awful grief. The snap of a life taken way too fucking soon. 

After the funeral, I was waiting outside to give E a hug before I left (I couldn't go to the burial because I had to pick Remy up from his first day of second grade) and was able to talk a little to the woman (a Rabbi or Cantor, I'm not sure) who had facilitated the service. Her words were beautiful and heartfelt but all I could say (after "thank you") was "this sucks." 

"This does suck," she agreed. "It really, really sucks." 

Sometimes there are no words other than those. Acknowledging the vast horribleness of the ache with what may feel like a cliche, but is still true: life isn't fair and sometimes it sucks. 

Sometimes it just sucks. 

Oh Caleb Mazel, may your bright shining life (and the brightly shining grief left behind in your wake) be a blessing of memory and inspiration. May your mama and her family be comforted with the remembrance of you and your amazing life. 

May you live on, in memory, in blessing, and in the acknowledgement of the unfairness of life without you here.