This morning, we drove up to the Sacramento area to spend the next few days visiting friends who have relocated up here. It was such a nice difference in temperature (20-35+ degrees F!!!), and the warmth from the sun felt so good. It was almost like we were defrosting on our way up.
One of the friends we visited and spent most of today with was our friend we met about six years ago in New York. Chris calls them the only couple friend we’ve made together, as when we usually hang out with other couples, they are usually through my side or his, but we’re not necessarily all “mutually” friends. Her husband died from unknown causes and seizures just about two weeks after their first and only child was born. I learned during our time together today that they had been trying to conceive for over 2.5 years until they finally got pregnant… right after a few cycles of failed fertility treatments. Having gone through fertility treatments myself, just hearing this felt torturous to me: 2.5 years of trying without any intervention or outside help. Granted, this was likely the case due to lack of insurance coverage and costs that I was privileged enough not to have to deal with, but it pained me regardless. And I felt like my heart was getting pierced hearing that after 2.5 years of trials and tribulations trying and failing to conceive, what felt like a miracle positive pregnancy test after that and a smooth pregnancy experience, that our friend only got to see and hold his own son for just a few days before having unexpected seizures and going into a coma that he would never wake up from. It was immediate joy followed by immediate pain, anguish, and death. I had to hold back tears hearing this, as I cannot even imagine how brutal this was for his wife. His son will only ever have a few photos with his dad to remember him by.
The entire time we were with her and her baby boy, I could feel Raj’s presence with us. It was as though I was still waiting for him to jump out of a closet or bathroom and yell, “Gotcha!” His presence is still strongly felt, and I felt it the entire time with them today. There is really no one else I know who is male who was so outwardly expressive and excited about the impending arrival of a child. Most men, including mine, are reserved and don’t really express too much emotion; Raj wore his heart on his sleeve and just shared everything, literally everything. No man I know is more open than he was. His passing was the universe’s loss. I still cannot believe he is gone.
Life is really fucking short. When I think of him and how suddenly and unexpectedly he passed, I always think about how short life is. Things always come up that you don’t expect, for the better and worse. I don’t know if any of us will live to see the next day, year, 10 years. It makes me even more painfully aware and annoyed of how miserable and mopey some people in my life are. It’s just that some people are so incapable of being grateful for what are seemingly the most basic things: good health, roof over our heads, enough money to never even have to worry about money. Those aren’t so “basic” to so many people in this country and world.
I hope Raj can still see us. I think about him all the time and hope his son inherits all his amazing qualities and his positive outlook on life.