Friday, June 3, 2011


Photograph by Leslie Gartrell

This was the moment it became real for me. We were all sitting around with friends in the roof garden, drinking sangria and eating pot luck gourmet. Within the easy overlapping conversations, someone mentioned Jim's tattoos. Leslie, his wife, reflected that he had had only three when she met him, and while they were married she had sat for countless hours watching him get inked with countless more. Did you know what each one meant, someone asked. She did. She explained a few of them, the symbols of bands that he had avidly followed. Down at the other end of the roof garden, our teenage children sat together around a table, talking intently. Over their heads, a beach ball sun lowered itself into the Hudson River, a bleeding glory of orange light. We all fell silent for a moment, looking at the sun making haloes around our children, our hearts full at the sight of them, there for one another after all these years. After a while, Leslie noted softly, "All those tattoos are gone now." That was the moment I let it in.


  1. Good thoughts and prayers being sent out to Leslie right now. Your Friend, m.

  2. Jim sounds like a wonderful man. So sorry for your loss of a dear friend.
    May the memories of him stay with you forever.
    Sending love ~

  3. Death is so unfair to the ones who remain. So sorry for you, for all the sadness, yet somehow you all come together for him, and that's how you separate the good ones from the others. Jim was from the good ones.

  4. It's a gorgeous loving post, Angella. Beginning to grieve is a desolation. And there will always be moments, now and forever, where an anniversary, a wedding, a christening, where his absence will be felt as if for the first time. But you are so lucky to have so many threads of deep friendship between you. Leslie's grief will be so much soften by being held by all of you. It's an unimaginable loss. But being together, as you were, makes it possible to grief, which is not a forgetting but a healing. xo

  5. May Jim's memory be a blessing to those who loved him. Coming together in the midst of shock and pain is how we make it through..


  6. Thank you. For being here and your kindness.