Last night I cried my weight in tears over the loss of my friend Dar but today more than feeling sad I just feel grateful. The last four years of our friendship have been extraordinary. All of the grief I feel is countered by a feeling of joy because I had the opportunity to know and to love him. My heart couldn’t have broken yesterday because Dar already melted it years ago when he smiled and somersaulted during our first game of chase. Dar was an incredibly gentle, sweet, kind soul. When I found out I was pregnant a few months ago I felt a bit of trepidation over the weight of the responsibility I was facing. When trying to imagine my life with a little one in my arms I thought about being able to introduce my child to Dar. That thought instantly brought a smile to my face a lifted that weight off my heart. Two weeks ago when I was interacting with Dar I signed WHAT THAT? pointing to my belly that is just starting to pop out. Dar replied BOY. I asked WHO IN THERE? and Dar signed BABY. We are waiting to find out what we are having so I won’t know for a few months if Dar’ s prediction is correct. I am disappointed that I will not be able to introduce Dar to whoever is in my belly, but they will certainly hear stories about my dear friend throughout their entire life.
Dar signing BABY.
Here are a handful of those stories. I hope that they give you some solace during this difficult time.
Dar had a wonderful sense of humor. Last month Amanda and I were in the night enclosure area playing an epic game of chase with Loulis. Dar joined in by head nodding and signing CHASE. He continued to head nod at us but didn’t actually chase us. I sang Dar’s song to him “DAR DAR, he’s a star, freckles on his face. Ears that flop, sits up top, and signs to you play….” and then I paused so that Dar could finish the song for me. Dar signed CHASE! and took off running. I signed FUNNY FUNNY, WHO FUNNY? Dar replied DAR FUNNY. We both head nodded at each other and then continued to play chase.
Dar always greeted me with a kiss in the morning. He loved to play, sometimes with a guitar, and he was never afraid to be silly. He loved the summer but not the winter. He loved all socks, big, small, and colorful. He loved all flavors of tea. He loved his hammock.