Our friends’ 11 year old son passed away this morning. He had been fighting cancer for a long time. He and his family had been fighting so hard for so long that the fact that this is how that story ended fills me with unbearable rage.
We weren’t close to his family and most of our interactions happened via social media. They live in Los Angeles, which we left nine years ago.
But they are wonderful.
I know that people, conscious or not, put their best foot forward online, but they were genuine. They were one of the families that I looked to as inspiration. And the fight and resilience they have shown during this has only made me look up to them all the more.
I think I formed a connection with them because of how inspiring they are. And that got stronger after our children were born.
Their son had been moved to hospice a little while ago and after I read that I spent the night getting completely hammered and staying up too late. I laid in bed and all I could think about was him, an 11 year old kid that I have never met, whose parents I didn’t really know.
I think about what his moms are going through and it destroys me.
Then I think about his little sister and that’s it. There’s nothing left.
The idea that any adult would have the capacity to deal with something like this is absurd, but we put one foot in front of the other and we find reasons to keep going. But how does a child get through something like this?
I’m so angry and I’m so sad and I am, at best, tangentially connected.
My wife works at Pixar and we sent him a bunch of Pixar stuff. His mom sent us wrist bands they’d made and we all put them on and took a picture and sent it to her. Our older son asked me about it and I explained to him what it meant. He said he hoped that the other boy got better.
Today my wife and I tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy for our kids. The cracks showed a few times, though. And I know that our older son, at least, noticed. But I couldn’t explain it to him.
I don’t know.
Hug your children. Hug your partner. Think of this family in Southern California. Carry love and share it with everyone you can.
This world is wrong, but it’s the only one we have.