yesterday, I got one of the emails I have gotten way too often:
‘dear friends, I am writing to tell you that *johnfreedman* passed away yesterday. The funeral will be….’
*johnfreedman* was not his real name (his family should never google him and come up in this inane rambling), but when you read the name in your head, do it in one word. That’s what J always called him. He was never just John, he was always *johnfreedman* to distinguish him from all the other Johns.
I only knew *johnfreedman* through my husband, but the stories of their antics are legendary. And I will never ever forget the Herculian effort he made to attend J’s shiva, where he himself was so weak from his battle with a cancer that doesn’t forgive.
I debated for a few hours whether I should tell the girls or not. They had only met him a couple of times, so I thought maybe they didn’t need to know. But by 9 pm last night, they bith asked me why I looked so sad. So told them. Their reaction was something along the lines of:
‘Wow, a LOT of dad’s friends have died’ and
‘Well now dad has someone new to hang out with’.
My reaction surprised me a little. I cried a lot. Not so much for *johnfreedman*, but for the recurring loss. For the number of times that I have been to a funeral or a shiva. I barely slept a wink. On Thursday I will show up and pay my respects even though I would like to avoid Papermans like the plague.