Life is for the Living… by Jude Genereaux

21 04 2022

Life is for the Living …

How often have you heard that said? I’ve wondered what it actually meant at times, though my assumption is the genesis stems from an observance that grief should be kept in its place, lest it demand too much of a person’s consciousness.

So where is that healthy boundary, between missing someone so dear to your life, central to your very Being perhaps – and establishing new lives and habits?

Norbert felt the ties of family and friendship strongly. It took a long time for him to rebound from loss. When elder family members of the Blei and Papp families passed on, he maintained the traditions he was raised with as his way of honoring old country ways, including annual treks to cemeteries with flowers, taking time to be silent with memory, standing by tombstones in quiet groves. Some losses he never fully re-bounded from – after his Mother, Emily passed away, Norb’s ability

to relish and truly enjoy the Christmas season was indelibly changed, so strongly was her presence part of it.

Several of Norb’s dearest friends went too soon into the mysterious beyond – Ralph and Arlene come to mind; the days following their deaths were dark with loss. Way too many cohorts and personal mentors as well – Mike Royko, Studs Terkel, journalists, fellow writers and heroes who helped him become one with them. Norbert’s way was write about them – and he did.

How shall wehonor those gone missing in our life? How do we fill the holes left in our days and hearts when they are so huge, it seems life will never be as good again?

Some might admonish themselves that Life is for the Living (whatever that means), or Life Goes Onothers of us may talk of them, and to them, often. Many of our routines and habits become changed. We tend to tombstones, we share memories with those who care, some work of us work for foundations and projects that were important to those we’ve lost – all to honor them in ways we continue to be able to. A way to do something, for them.

And some of us write about them. Which to Norbert Blei, says L.O.V.E. in every sentence. This was his Way.

  • Jude Genereaux

April 23, 2022


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