A memorial appeared earlier this week on the bridge over the railroad tracks that connects my neighborhood and parts beyond. Each day I’ve watched it grow in size, without any awareness of who it celebrates or what circumstances caused it to appear. On my walk tonight, I saw several teenagers arrive and walk up there, no doubt to view what has occurred and leave their own marks behind.
This past weekend, a second student this semester jumped from a balacony at a library in NYU. In summarizing the student reactions, I couldn’t help but think that while there may be a reaction there now, in time, that reaction will fade. Eventually, for those that come after, the memories will be gone, something rumored about but generally forgotten.
I always remember this time of year, though. It always touches me a certain way. The grieving process is one of the most difficult parts of life, both for those grieving, and for those who care about the griever. It is a process that can be at once private and public, shared and yet borne in solitude. And those who offer comfort so often find themselves torn, looking for the right words and unable to find them. My only words are cold comfort, that part of loving is letting go, and part of living is losing, and there is no avoiding it. Celebrate what times you had, remember them, cherish them, and live your life to the fullest.