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on mementos

We had dinner with Greg tonight. Greg was married to Sandy, who was my very best friend until 6/30/2000 when she finally, after a long heartbreaking fight, succumbed to cancer at age 37. I miss her keenly.

Greg's moving to Seattle soon, and was cleaning out his house. I'm not sure if he was actually looking for things to give to people in memory of Sandy, or if he just ran across this, or what.

Back when I was visiting our pottery studio weekly, Sandy would show up now and then and, and this is just like her, would throw clay down on the wheel and with great hilarity try to make something. Occasionally she'd wind up with a small dish or something; more often the result would be a sodden lump of clay on the wheel and a Sandy entirely spattered with clay.

I unwrapped the present to find a small ceramic dish, maybe suitable for holding candy by the front door, or salsa served with chips. On the bottom was "SVS 1994" scratched into the wet clay before firing. I was pleased he thought to give it to me. When I got home I noticed that it exactly fits inside a similarly-shaped dish I made when I was first learning to throw clay on the wheel, which I think is just about perfect.

It's funny, thinking about this thing that my friend made, years ago. Fired clay, especially glazed, is incredibly tough stuff. Impossible to wear down, difficult to break, it has a tremendous sense of permanence to it. It reminds me that I often think of Sandy in the present tense, as if she were still around. Not like she's in heaven or anything like that (for who can say where the dead really go), but that she really is still here, because I still think about her, and I still love her, and she is still in my heart and so still has a say, in some way, about what I think about things. She used to give the best advice, and sometimes I think she still does.

Comments

( 2 comments — Comment )
struggler
Mar. 17th, 2002 03:44 am (UTC)
I always believed that when the dead go to heaven (or whatever after-life they would go to), they don't really GO anywhere. there ARE right here, overlapping the same time and space that we are, they are just in another dimension (for lack of a better word). Dead friends and family never really leave, and for all you know she could be sitting in the room with you. This would explain the existance of ghosts (which i believe in but never saw). There has to be more to life than what we see on earth. The only thing stopping us from traveling between these dimesions would be our bodies, then when we die, we are free to travel. In billions of years, when the earth no longer exists, it won't matter. we will just find somewhere else.
I'm not trying to start a religious arguement here but that seemed relevant. i'm just saying that there nothing wrong with thinking of her in the present tense because for all you know, she might be.
szasz
Mar. 17th, 2002 12:50 pm (UTC)

Thanks. I know she's still around, at least in my heart if nowhere else.

It's interesting, isn't it, the different ways we all think about loved ones who have died. There's a lot of comfort in knowing they're still with us, and your belief makes as much sense as anything else.

Of course no one living can ever know, which is why belief and faith go hand in hand with thinking about death, the afterlife, heaven, or whatever you want to call it. There's something from the Bible, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor heart of man conceived, What God has prepared..." that seems to fit here.

( 2 comments — Comment )

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