Lilith

12 05 2011

LILITH

My friend in Vienna lost her daughter to cancer today. She was only 27 and I cannot, or no, unfortunately, I do have an idea, imagine how her parents feel now.

Two years ago, my friend Debbie lost her daughter to a crazed murder, a fucked up and hopeless 50 year old drug addict who resided in a facility for “Non Violent Drug Offenders”, a place I happened to do an internship last year.

That was when I still believed that I wanted to be a drug counselor, but as soon as I graduated on December 16th, I forgot my education and my degree as if it never happened.

I am so glad that I recovered from the bulimia – it was four years on May 1st – because when my two friends lost their daughters, I was able to feel and to show up, however useless and pointless this was, considering the enormity of what had happened.

I don’t think that I was of any help, I mean, what help is there, except love and rallying around the bereaved parents to let them know that I cared? That we all cared?

In light of this death today, I am grateful to be inside life now, even if it means crying for the parents, for the girls, feeling totally powerless and helpless. The sadness feels like a hundred pound backpack strapped to my body, it clouds the gorgeous Los Angeles Spring days we are so lucky to enjoy. It sucks. It isn’t fair.

Lilith was a beautiful angel with a mass of bright red hair that she inherited from her hopelessly alcoholic father, Renee. I don’t know anybody who wanted to be alive as strongly as her. She spent most of her time in Japan, working on fashion blogs that were so creative and innovative, only a young and fearless girl like her could produce. She was loved and her boyfriend in Japan worshipped the ground she walked on (Cliché, I know. Forgive me) She was so full of live, her ideas so original and vivid, she was on to something.

When she was born, one year before Chernobyl wasted Europe, I was in a place where I did not understand why a women like Hermi would decide to have a child instead of getting an abortion, like I did numerous times. She had the courage to keep her baby and she became my hero, so much so, that I named my own daughter the same name that Hermi choose: Lilith. The goddess who kicked the butts of Adam and all the other male angels who would have liked her to shut up and disappear. A fearless fighter who took them all on. According to bible-history, all the male angels (and Adam included) cowered and ran from her.

I named my daughter Lilith, but she chooses to be Lilly. This is America after all. Can’t blame her for that.

I made Hermi’s wedding dress when she married the kindest and most intelligent man in Vienna, Alex, a guy you can’t find twice. He became Lilith’s dad while her semen-donor continued to drink himself into homelessness (not an easy feat in Vienna, where people are taken care off, no matter how they got themselves into desperate situations like him) and loved her with all the love a father can experience.

They were a happy family. Lilith was one of those girls without a self-destructive bone in her. I visited them with my daughter and spent the night there. Lilith and Lilly became friends while her mom and me were out, sampling Vienna’s impressive nightlife.

I hate to admit that I was a lousy guest. By then, my bulimia was so out of control, that I was not able to enjoy anything, any place that Hermi took me to. I was sourly and anxious, impatiently scoring my next food-fix. I did not connect with anybody during this night, including Hermi and Alex. I mean, I pretended to be present and I was polite and gracious, but my heart was not there at all.

By the time, Hermi and me returned to her apartment, Lilly and Lilith were still up, talking and drawing. Lilith was so kind to my daughter who, a few years younger must have bored and annoyed her. But her interest was genuine and she made Lilly feel like she mattered as a person and a budding artist.

When I learned about Lilith’s cancer a few years later, I called my mother who is a doctor and asked her about the survival chances of Angio Sarcoma. My mother, the unemotional and scientific harborer of facts said: “She’ll die. There is nothing that can be done” and I hated her for it.

Lilith fought a legendary fight: seven years and 32 operations, all the while going back to Japan and researching fashion and trends until she became too weak at the beginning of the year. By medical standards, she should have been dead years ago.

Her fight and my stubborn believe that will and want can change the outcome of seemingly hopeless situations provided me with certainty and a kind of arrogant ignorance that was fueled by my Kabbalah teachings. I wanted her to live and prove that immortality exists if we just believe in it enough.

Then my marriage crumbled and I got a glimpse of that wanting and willing certain outcomes did not guarantee them. I know I wanted my marriage to survive, blossom and heal as much as Lilith wanted to get this shitty and untimely cancer cured and annihilated. Sheer will power and putting up a fight was going to save us.

I feel embarrassed now that I had this idea to compare the death of my ridiculous and impossible marriage to the seriousness of Lilith’s cancer, but I than I did.

When I finally succumbed to the divorce, I let a lot of believes behind me, specially the one that the willingness, love and need for healing and miracles is useless. Life and death are stronger than what we want and wish for.

Forces like pregnancy and death are beyond my will and that’s a fucking painful reality to swallow.

I am so sad for those girls that died, Lilith and Lily and sadness is he only feeling that includes acceptance. If I were God, they would both be alive and enrich our world with their spark and unique views of life.

But I am not God. A bitter and nasty pill to swallow and digest. One I haven’t been able to get down, no matter how much I drink.

Oh, I know we all must die. I know because life is quick and fleeting and I am at an age where my own death wouldn’t even be “dying young”. But at least, I am not dying bent over a toilet bowl and that alone is worthy of gratitude and the awareness that I have so much, so very much to live for. Until it is my turn.

Lilith, I love you. Hermi and Alex, my heart and my love are with you. Good bye, Lilith.


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