It was a good day to share memories about Larry with friends and family out here on the west coast. The loss is still so raw that I still find myself dumbfounded that this is happening. I wait to wake up and discover this was all a terrible nightmare, but that isn’t the reality. My reality is that Larry lost his fight with cancer after giving it his all. There’s no turning back time. His goodness and spirit no longer have a body to live in and, I am choosing to believe, are now out in the world with us in some form or fashion. I have to believe that. I need to believe that. I need him here still.
So that’s the mindset I find myself in now, and it was the mindset I still had this past Sunday. Regardless of the loss and grief, having this event with loved ones was wonderful. Barb and Jack completely went above and beyond hosting us at their gorgeous home in Newbury Park, and my friends dove in and provided the goodies and the work to get everything ready on Sunday. I am a very lucky, blessed guy that this was all done for Larry. it shows the impact he had on so many.
We had time from 10-3 on Sunday, and during it was just a good time catching up with folks I hadn’t seen in a while (the Barnes family! NBC friends! Larry’s coworkers and friends! ) and just being there with everyone. I did want to say something while most people were still there, so here’s what my notes were from that day – I cried many tears trying to get through this:
Thank you for being here – I wrote something for Larry’s funeral that isn’t right for today. While I still feel a lot of those emotions – the rage, the sadness, the loss – I know I can’t dwell endlessly on them. So I grieve day by day, with some days easier than others.
What I want to share instead is just that I was so filled with love when I was with Larry. And with his death, there’s a hole in my heart that I don’t know how to deal with. But each day, the love from my friends and family helps. I know the pain won’t really ever go away but with time, there will be healing and so I hold on to that and smile when I think of things Larry would have loved or try to cook a meal knowing Larry is probably shaking his head at all the things I’m doing wrong.
There are still going to be tears and I don’t try to avoid them. All I can do now is try to convey what I’ve learned – please embrace and love those in your life as often as you can. None of us know the time we have left, so try not to let life slip by without appreciation. And for the love of god, take care of your health and be proactive. Don’t hide from the colonoscopy because it makes you uncomfortable. Not that it would have saved Larry as he was still too young for it to have been done, but don’t ignore your body. We caught his cancer too late, so please, just don’t ignore your body and put your head in the sand.
I love you all and thank you for coming and thank you so much to Barbara and her family for letting us enjoy this day at her lovely home, and to my friends who helped make this whole event happen.
There were some clever and emotional ways that people were asked to contribute while there. Two guestbooks were there for people to write messages in – one for me, one for Fran. There are also letters that people can write messages in that will be sent to me and Fran. Also, people could paint on rocks and Mila will assemble them for something like a memorial we can have on my roofdeck. Tim also provided me a frame with one of his student films with Larry starring as “The Maestro” and it’s amazing. Just seeing his face in action in much younger, happier days was so nice.
Anyway, I am thrilled at how it all turned out. I’m torn though as part of me feels like this was a way for most people out there to have closure on Larry. I’m only just starting on that journey – there will never be closure. I don’t even know how to imagine life without him. I’m living it, I guess, but it’s a nightmare. All I have are memories now and to think about somehow “processing” them all away depresses me. It’s all just so fucked.
Here are pics from the day – pretty fantastic. Weirdly enough, the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant happened literally while we were driving through that area to Newbury Park, as it happened in Calabasas right before 10am. It was so foggy that day (and it was cold the entire day while the day before and the next day it was sunny and great). Insane how life can be just so fucked for any- and everyone.