Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Growing Up With Grief
The first was a friend whose family had escaped the Shah's Iran. How they had come to leave their homeland and live near me I never knew much about, but I did know that I was comfortable with them, and they nurtured another love, one of food from multiple cultures. I never turned down a meal at their table, and my favorite meals to this day are those that highlight food that I do not make well, foods from cultures that are not my own. The second close friend at that time grew up in a large family of adopted children, herself included. Her parents adopted those who were hard to adopt. Her sister had leukemia, another had hydrocephalus, a third was born without functioning limbs. No one could visit her house and feel that they had the worst fate. All sorts of unfortunate possibilities were visually on display.
In many ways I was lucky to learn to cope with this early on in life. Life is hard and not fair and yet exquisitely beautiful. I think it helped me be resilient and thankful for what I have, and yet the sadness of loss had not gone away. So today I once again thank my brother for everything that he taught me in his all too short life.