On Grief

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief. I’ve never felt the deep, searing grief that is only associated with death. Why? No one super close to me has ever died. I’ve been to one funeral in my life. I know that – as much as I may be a cynical and jaded bastard especially when compared to my idealistic friends from school – I still have the badge of innocence that only someone as young as I could sport.

A few weeks ago a classmate stood up at an all-school assembly and told a touching story about a good friend of hers who was tragically killed. Just a few days ago I heard about a young guy – 18 or 19 years old – who was hit by a car on his birthday walking home at night.

I knew no one in the Gulf Coast, no one in the World Trade Center, no solider in Iraq.

I DO know that some day, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a week, maybe in a year, chance will have it that I am faced with a great tragedy. And I sometimes wonder,  in bed in the darkness of my room, how I will react in such a circumstance. Will I cry? Will I buy a book on "how to deal with grief"? Will I try to forget it? Will I try to "celebrate" the person’s life?

Steven Levitt, the author of Freakonomics and Chicago professor, did a post this evening on his blog commemorating his son’s death six years ago. He was one year old. It spoke to me and inspired this post. Probably because of the reference to the Rent song "Seasons of Love."

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