I spent a good part of my day thinking of what I was going to write here at the end of it. I remember having some good ideas. I had some good ideas! Yet, in this moment, I cannot remember any of them. It seems impossible to sum it up. Or even just say something meaningful. With so many possible things to say, that I know, that I feel, that are true…few seem appropriate now.
So I’ll tell the facts, as they were, as they are: today was Jonny’s unveiling. It is hard to comprehend that it’s been a year since he died. It’s still hard to comprehend the fact of it at all.
Nonetheless, I was fine. I got up early. Drank some coffee. Taught two SoulCycle classes. Ate some food. Packed us bags. And brought my kids to the mall. That’s where my grandmother watched them while we went to the cemetery. We were late. As usual. And got to the grave site to find so so many people already there. We walked up. Said our awkward, loaded hellos. And I was feeling ok. Aware that all week I was avoiding, but holding it together: OKAY. And I believed it. Though knew the break was coming.
And for some reason, still, I was surprised when it happened. Strange how that it. How it sneaks up on you. It was when I actually noticed the family headstone. And then the footstone. Jonny’s. Immediately I chocked up. Tears welled. But I swallowed it back. And then the rabbi started the ceremony. And again I was fine. But then the cantor started to sing. And the beauty in her voice was poignant. And I cried. And Richie cried. And it was there all over again. The realness. The weight. The truth.
But the ceremony went on. And the day went on. And we all got through it. Lighter than a year ago. In some ways scarier, since we weren’t in the state of shock. But also easier, because we are stronger now. WE ARE STRONGER NOW.
And that is what Jonny Kessner gave us. A softness because he was a softee and always made it his business to bring light and laughter to a situation. But a strength too. A strength that I think none of us knew we were capable of . I certainly didn’t.
On this earth, Jonny was the sweetest and silliest little brother. For all the things he taught me in the time we spent together, there are infinite things he’s taught me since he’s left us.
Now, I take bigger leaps, risks, opportunities. I am not afraid of living my life. I am not afraid of what people think. There is just no time… I push myself harder, farther than I ever would have. I stretch myself to the limits and know pride in what I find. I see the positive. I choose the positive. I try to motivate. I always share my energy. I always keep it real. I always keep it positive. There is no other way to live.
The new me is one I think Jonny would have liked a lot.