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Still in shock. One dark thought passed through my mind in bed last night: it has begun. The losses of aging and old age – the gradual disappearance of loved ones – it has begun. We expect our parents to die before us. Wayson felt like another generation to me, but he was in fact only 11 years older than I. Except for the terrible losses due to AIDS in the 80’s, he’s the first of my closest friends to vanish.

I don’t want to lose people I love. It will hurt too much. But the only alternative is that I die first, which wouldn’t be so much fun either.

The other words that went through my mind were: Someone who loved me is gone. For those of us without a significant other, the loss of the significant others whom we choose is devastating. Wayson loved me and cared about my life, as I did about his. It was a powerful bond that hasn’t faltered since we met in 2002 or 3. In the local Goodwill, of course. Junk junkies both.

Friends have been calling and sending beautiful emails of tribute to him and to our friendship, and I thank them. Nick Rice sent this pic he took at the Miles Nadal JCC – I gave a talk there and Wayson was with me to sell my books, hover solicitously, and beam.

Loss. Grief. Last night I found myself in the bathroom, madly cleaning the leaves of the tall gardenia that survived the winter and the renovation, but with dusty leaves. And then I realized – it was a gift from Wayson, years ago, that brings him to me every time it blooms. And it will be blooming soon.

And this I had from him also: Onward.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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