They set up a really nice space - chairs, a table with drinks and cookies and a podium that we could use to speak from. They dug a hole behind the pillar, where we planted an almond tree together after the ceremony. The plaque looked beautiful. The space was serene. Other than the fact that Ted and Mo were not there - it was "perfect". But, as soon as we pulled into the spot, it felt far from perfect. It was anything BUT perfect. My child should have been at home with his brother, being looked after by his daddy, grandmas and nanny. I should have been visiting the next stop on our staff itinerary instead of sitting an hour away from them at a memorial site for my son. I hate that this is the way life is. I simply hate it.
My boss, Russell, delivered a beautiful speech about friendship, loss, and commitment. I thought that I would be able to deliver something equally composed and meaningful - but I broke. I started speaking and then shaking and then crying my eyes out. The words came out in a jumble. There was no flow to my thoughts really and I forgot everything I wanted to say.
I was lucky to have friends there who know and love me. My best friends in Israel are brother and sister: Ofir and Tali. I am also close with Ofir's wife, Orit, and their parents, Ezzie and Hanna. They all came to the ceremony along with two Israeli colleague/girlfriends: Yael and Liat. I knew I didn't want to be alone but also knew that I couldn't have the whole group there. It would have been too much for me to take.
I left feeling emotionally spent - totally exhausted. I rejoined the group and was embraced by those who knew where I had been. It was really really hard. There is little real satisfaction in the normal sense of the word to doing things in memory of Max. It feels "right" to memorialize him, because the reality is that he is gone....but it feels more "wrong" that that is our reality. Of course, it is important to us that this place exists - he deserves sacred spaces on this earth.
It's just that he deserves so much more than that and I really believe that we do too.