Grady and I—and Pablo's empty saddle—riding around the Silverlake Reservoir this evening. It's hard to see in this pic, but I am also wearing Pablo's 'Mike and the Bike' helmet.
Early this evening, we rode in honor of Pablo. I rode the 'connect bike' that P and I ride all the time. His saddle is symbolically empty. Now I will ride alone, with Pablo guiding me and watching over me. And so will Grady. We plan to do Reservoir rides regularly, and I will ride with Pablo's connect bike on all those rides.
Grady and I were joined by Polly, Peter, Dean, Tony, Acacia and our lovely and sage neighbor Laurence Frauman. It was a wonderful way to honor Pablo—doing something that he loved, something that we did a lot of in the last couple weeks of his life. When we passed Silverlake Park, we stopped and did Geronimo jumps off the granite wall, just as Pablo would have done if he were with us. I will post Peter and Tony's great pics of the jumps tomorrow when they email them to me.
Let me tell you what happened before the ride....
At around 6 p.m., Jo Ann, Grady and I carried our beloved little boy Pablo in our arms. We picked him up from our bed and we carried him up the stairs, out the door and into the waiting transport from Forest Lawn Cemetery. We took slow, deliberate steps. We carried him with dignity and care and love. How else could we do it? We were scared. And we knew were doing it the way Pablo would do it for any of us. Nobody ever sent us a road map, so we are making this part up as we go. And, so far, using dignity and love as our coordinates, we're doing alright.
Pablo's physical self laid in our bed all afternoon, receiving kisses, snuggles, and gentle caresses from us and our family and close friends who were at the house. We talked to him, as if he were still in that body. We believe that Pablo can hear us now, and that he is part of the Universe and that he is with us, in us, around us.... We also believe that Pablo is in Heaven, and that once he left the plane where we exist, he went to this higher place. While we spent our final hours with Pablo, Peter and Brie began making arrangements with Forest Lawn, where Pablo will be laid to rest next week. (We will host a giant memorial and celebration of Pablo's life; the next day will be the funeral. Details will be posted here late Monday). P + B did everything so that we could spend all our time with Pablo. A handful of other friends were here too, keeping things safe and sacred within our home while we wept, laughed, hugged, talked, reminisced, and continued telling Pablo that we love him and that he is a brave boy and that we will be OK. We told him these things a thousand times in his final days, hours and moments of life.
In fact, the second last thing Pablo said was 'Say something!' He said this because, for a brief moment, there was a lull in our telling him that he was going to be OK, that we love him, that it's OK for him to stop fighting and rest.... He just opened his eyes for a second, then screamed 'Say something!' What an amazing person. Even with his second last breath, he told us exactly what he wanted and needed. We love him even more for this.
I want to tell you what Pablo's last words were. Listen carefully, because this is the greatest testament to Jo Ann and her wonderful motherhood, and how wonderful motherhood can be with the right child and the right mother. Pablo's last words were 'I want Mommy!'
And her response, as always, was 'You've got me Pablo. I'm here.' He had been in her arms for hours when he said this. He would wake up from his Morphine-induced naps, and, we believe, he would wake up scared. And every time, he would scream the same thing: 'I want Mommy!'
Jo Ann is that kind of mother. That's why we love her. That's why Pablo knew he could call on her. She is his cornerstone of safety and warmth and all that is good in his life and in his world.
Now, the next step begins... And, so far, it is every bit the emotional roller coaster the past 13 months have been... Except it hurts in a much, much different way. With Pablo gone from our physical lives, and with his physical self no longer here, and the fight to keep him alive no longer here, it immediately feels like we are floating in space, dodging chunks of emotional asteroids. When I say 'dodging,' I don't mean avoiding. I mean getting hit with the full force of memories, Pablo's toys, clothes, pictures, videos, energy that cover every square inch of our house.
We have all wept and wept and wept. At one point I thought I was going to pass out. But this is the purpose of crying and weeping and letting go, isn't it? It's about clearing out. It's about finding the bottom and scrubbing it clean with the tears, the breath, the tornado of release. There is no doubt the sorrow and mourning and tears and gut-wrenching will go on for a long time. But there's also no doubt that our acceptance will grow and take on color and shape and dimension. We're nowhere near that today, of course. But we know that this is the promised land for a family who has lost a boy named Pablo who lived exactly six years and six days.
All these memories are wonderful things that, today, feels so so so bittersweet. No memory of Pablo could ever be painful for us. We want the memories, and his belongings, and his energy. We want to keep Pablo in our hearts and lives. There's no way this won't happen. No way. He was not the kind of dude whose light can be diminished. And we're not the kind of family that forgets.
We really do not know what tomorrow will bring. Or if we'll even be able to sleep tonight. Part of being hopeful, for us, meant that we would not dwell on what it would be like if we lost Pablo. I can't recall a single conversation Jo Ann and I had about this. So, tomorrow will be a new start. Am I scared? Hell yes. Do I want Pablo back? Oh my G, yes! But do we accept that God + the Universe had a different plan for our precious little boy Pablo? Hell yes. Simple as that.