It's been about a year since my post about the death of my dad's best friend, GF. I adored GF ever since I was a toddler, and I was a wreck after his loss. But I was hardly the only person in GF's life.
So how is everyone doing?
GF's widow is still sorting through the ramifications of suddenly becoming an owner of a thriving company - something that had always been GF's baby. GF's family and friend have rallied around her, and we get together whenever we can to hold epic crossword-solving marathons or play strategy games or argue about baseball. But it's hard. She jokes that she's become like Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone", juggling cardboard cutouts of movie stars and setting up different TVs to keep potential burglars away since she's alone in the house. And she still sleeps in the mattress/sickbed that they set up for GF downstairs.
At the same time, she's emerging from the identity she had for more than three decades as "GF's wife". She had always been a raucous, opinionated foil for GF; the person to prompt one of his epic stories and suggest new adventures just to see if he'd take the bait and try them. Now she's starting to go on her own adventures, like driving five hours to an opposing team's baseball game to heckle guys three times her size.
The others who were so close to GF - his kids, his brothers, my dad - they're all coming to term with his absence; honoring him their own way, whether that's excavating and passing around old photos of GF being ridiculous, dropping by the house to just hang out, or fundraising for cancer research. I help out where I can, but I also try to live my life like he did - to find joy and adventure wherever I go, and see the best in the people around me.