I will stay with you

(title for chaya and rajul ) when i was younger, i used to have this kind of morbid/kind of twisted dream about my funeral. i never thought about the actual dying part, but about who would come to my funeral. i was kind of cursed and blessed to actually witness my \”funeral\”. but this time,i really wanted to know what people really thought, i wondered what they were thinking when they saw me. i think that everyone who visited me got the same memo; to just walk in my room, smile, and tell me i looked beautiful. but that was perfect because at that time i needed everyone around me to be strong. but after a while, i started to get confused. i was still so shocked, exasperated, horrified, frustrated and in utter disbelief as to what happened to me. but everyone else seemed fine with what happened it was as if they had already accepted what had happened, and since i was getting better, they were all fine with it. but i thought there was nothing fine about it! then one day friend from high school came to visit me. i dont think he had gotten the memo so he was just real with me. he said, \”man this really sucks. i can\’t believe this happened to you\”. wow i was so thrilled to hear those few words. it was so validating to know someone else was still shocked and upset like me. so over the next few months, through emails, chats, and essays people wrote about this, i had glimpses into how people really felt about this. sometimes it nice and refreshing for someone to be real . while it is also sometimes nice to ignore the enormous elephant in the room and keep conversations light so i can feel happy and normal for a minute, it is also really validating to hear how people really feel. this awful thing has caused me to feel every kind of emotion, so it
feels good to know it makes other people feel something. it makes me feel less alone. the other day, i got an email from my med school friend who did just that, he said…
\”Each time i see you, each time i think about you, i have the same overwhelming feeling that everyone around you, all your friends and family, probably have too – this intense wish that i could do something to make it all better right now, instantly. I wish i could gather up a hundred or thousand people and each of us could divide up the muscles that still haven\’t awoken, and carry them with us until they do. I\’d take that left hand and give you mine. I\’m sure my Mom would take some erector spinae muscles. And we could just leave you perfect, back to baseline, and all hundred or thousand of us could carry those sleepy muscles so you wouldn\’t have to.\”
it was amazing, powerful, and best of all, real. he was frustrated with this too and really wished he could help. i know i have to fight this battle ultimately by myself, but with you all staying with me, im sure as hell, not alone.

2 thoughts on “I will stay with you

  1. oh my goodness, who wrote that to you? it is sheer mastery of the written word! how incredibly articulate, radiant and poignant. this makes me think about the mechanics of a community that you have fostered, Hersh. it's people who you would give everything to, so why wouldn't they feel the same about you? I think we've all had that funeral dream, but you my dear are more alive than most people I know. cheers to these friends of yours who are secure, honest and strong enough to provide you with human feedback and real emotion. Can't wait to hang with them in a few days.


  2. as always, you find the ways to talk openly, candidly, and eloquently about the things that I always think about but don't know how to address — thanks so much…love you


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