Do you remember when we put on running clothes to go for a jog and you put on those seventies running shoes that hurt your feet and we both got all out of breath really fast so we just walked a few blocks and then went home? I liked it when we drove all night to San Francisco. I loved it when we took naps or played with the cat. I think most of my memories feel so normal they aren’t exciting to talk about, they are driving to a party together, going to an art museum, walking around and taking pictures of each other, cutting and dying each other’s hair, going swimming, going to the beach, and having sleepovers, watching movies and listening to records. Perhaps what was most extraordinary was that doing mundane things together with you felt special, and funny.
A couple days ago at your memorial I told people that I felt lucky that you wanted to be my friend, which is true, I don’t know if I ever told you that, but your friendship felt really special to me, it felt like a club that I had wanted to be in all my life.
On the day your friends and family gathered to see and feel you, to search for you and reflections of your life in the faces and stories or others, I received a note that touched my chest with a moment of serendipity that felt surely and completely like a sparkle in your eye, a profound wink and giggle. Two hours before your memorial I went for a run on some stairs near my house and there was a graffiti a big black and white print of a tiger that said “let’s be friends,” it made me kind of laugh and smile… but on my way back up I saw a print of a face that was a little ripped, beyond recognition, the type said “this is for you so smile.” So simple, I can’t explain why … but I felt in my body so surely with a sense of conviction I can’t explain either that you put that there for me, that you sent me there that day, to make me smile, to remind me how much you loved life, to tell me you were in a beautiful place and your love was even more gracious and radiant, to touch me at a time when I perhaps needed to know that endings are not necessarily what they seem, that God/creator/life works in mysterious ways, that your death does not in any way change the splendor of life… I went back the next day and it was gone, painted over, but the wall will make me smile and think of you now…
A month or two ago I watched a play where a rabbi shows a man two pieces of paper, one piece of paper says “from ashes to ashes” and the other says “the whole world is for you.” The man asks the rabbi, “which one is true?” …to which the rabbi of course responds, “they are both true.” From the earth we return back to it, none of us so special as to escape the mortality that is our own, and yet you are so special that the whole world is for you, every moment, every happening, and every gift, is for you. This is for you so smile.
I love you, I miss you, you make me smile, you bring me joy, you are teaching me even now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you shared with me, for everything you said to me, for all the love, for all the compliments when I was feeling down, for changing me, for teaching me different ways to have fun, for helping me not take things so seriously, for loving me in your own special way, for challenging me, for spending so much of your life with me, for being in my life, for being beautiful, for being yourself in all it’s beauty and truth…Amy, I don’t know how to say thank you enough, and I can’t say goodbye because there is no end, all I can say is Amy… I love you with all my heart and …and…and…to be continued when I have more to say to you