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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Grief

Hi All


I hope you are enjoying the day.


As some of you know, I lost my best friend, Christopher Van Pelt, on January 31st, 2021. He died in the apartment we lived in - and I was home when he died. I pumped his chest (as the 911 operator instructed me to do while waiting for the ambulance) and begged him to return to me. He didn't.


It's over 3 years later - and the grief takes breaks now and then - but it never goes away. And - some days are easier than others - and some days are not. I've learned "grief to feeling okay" isn't a straight line - it ebbs and flows - and, oftentimes, it does so unexpectantly and unpredictable.


8 days ago, I visited Decatur Cemetery (in Decatur, Georgia) to talk to Chris and to express my grief as I feel it still. And - to thank him for all of the wonderfulness he brought into my life. During times when I feel strong and confident, I know it is by his encouragement, support, and friendship that I feel brave enough to allow myself to feel strong and confident. When I feel defeated and weak, I reach for my memories of his strength (Chris could get through anything) and, slowly, return to being okay again.


During our 18 years of friendship, Chris occasionally told me I had a "flair for the dramatic" (and he was a professional drag queen - so that's saying a lot- LOL!).  I suspect he was correct. Fortunately - before he died - I had released my mini sample book of poems, "My Anxiety Wants Ice Cream" - and he, patiently, sat on our living room couch and read it from cover to cover, without taking a break. When finished he turned to me and said, "well, that was some dramatic shit" (). Chris supported me in everything I did (that was good for me) - and - although he admitted he didn't understand the "poetry thing", he fully supported my poetic vision - because he knew it was important to me.


If you are grieving - please know you are not alone.


I wrote this at the cemetery 8 days ago (after saying it aloud without immediately realizing I was speaking - it is unedited):

____

Grieving


I miss you so much, my friend. I am lost without you.


Be my Lazarus.


I cannot make it in this world without you.


I very much need you not to be dead.



____

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Christopher Van Pelt (unseen) at Decatur Cemetery – Decatur, Georgia, USA. May 1st, 2024.

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