@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
It was Jeff’s birthday the other day. Or would have been. It still feels to talk about him in past tense. Jeff is my best friend’s husband, whom I was once a nanny for, who died late last year suddenly of cancer, leaving behind a wife and four teenagers.
It still feels awful. It still feels unfair and too soon.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Not just good people, the best people? It’s a question man has always asked. A question there has never really been an answer to.
And while I offer no answer myself, I do want to share what happened at his funeral. Nothing spiritual or anything like that, but simply what his wife, Andrea, said to me.
I remember that funeral in a way I suspect I’ll remember the rest of my days. The way tragedy imprints you. How angry I was. I was so angry. Watching this woman and kids I loved so dearly being robbed. I wanted something or someone to hate.
I sat in the back of the church, and after the mass, everyone followed the family mourning over the casket. He was a Vet so the military did their thing. I wanted badly to embrace Andrea and the kids but it’s such an overwhelming thing, I just kind of hung back. It took a while for people to clear before I could embrace the kids. By this point, Andrea was already getting in the limo. We had not seen or talked to each other since she texted me that he died.
When she saw me, she got out of the car. She hugged and started crying and saying, “who’s going to get your air conditioner off the shelf? It’s too heavy, I can’t lift it.”
Now, what Andrea was referring to, is I used to store my AC unit in her shed (though I now store it in my sisters shed). And I just thought, “what? This woman’s husband is dead, the love of her life, four kids, and she’s worried about my stupid fucking air conditioner? This is the biggest non problem in the entire world.”
But that’s just who Andrea is. She’s so giving. So loving. It’s why her and her family mean so much to me. I thought in my head what an absurd moment that was. It was absolutely the dumbest moment, ever. Wrapped in one of the saddest days in my life.
Because of her, everything did make sense to me for a very brief, fleeting moment. Then it was gone. The only thing left was how short life is. And not to waste it for a moment. Not to hold grudges. But to love so wholly and unapologetically and do good to others and do what makes you happy.
I love you, Jeff. Wherever you are. I hope being caught in the eternal energy ether feels like surfing.