14 January 2009

Jake.


I lost a dear friend late this week, in a senseless, stupid, utterly preventable tragedy that his family and the police are still trying to sort out, and will be for many weeks to come. His only sister is one of my closest friends, and my heart reels at the thought of what Chloe and her family have lost.

Life wasn't always easy for Jake, and sometimes he made it harder than it had to be--something he and I had in common. But he had a sweet gentle soul, and a bear hug that would literally lift your feet off the ground when you were caught up in it. His giggle was contagious, and he was always finding the slapstick humour in otherwise ordinary conversations: because who the hell slips on toast?

It's unbelievable that I'm standing here speaking these words, and I can't begin to imagine the struggles his family will face as they try to make sense of what happened last night. All I know is that the world has lost something very, very special, and none of us who knew Jake will ever be the same.

All week I’ve been remembering Jake’s favourite joke, the one about Jewish people in China. He never got tired of telling me, and I never got tired of hearing it and watching him grin so wide his hair bounced when he told the punchline: “Sharom!” Which of course, is a politically incorrect version of the Hebrew word for peace. Anybody who knew Jake knows that peace is what he wanted to find in this world, more than anything else, his whole life. Last night, I wondered, as I heard his voice in my head over and over, sharom, if maybe this isn’t just a happy memory. If maybe this is Jake, trying to tell us that he’s finally found it?

Carol, Jerry, his beloved Cher, Peace.

Little brother, Sharom.

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