Last year I did this watercolor sketch for my friend Ilana. Right before the pandemic, her kitty, Mekare died. She was devastated, a feeling I know well, when it comes to pets, particularly cats. A year later, I’m struck with my grief for her.
I lost my oldest friend this week. As teens, we bonded over Depeche Mode. She was a beautiful woman. A creative person. A talented singer. Humorous, sweet and generous. I’m lucky my wife and kid got to meet her in a trip to NY a couple years ago. I’m cycling between sorrow and fury. Fury because her family continues to treat her poorly. She was a survivor of incest, her family denied it, until he confessed and then she split with most of them because she wouldn’t ‘just get over it’. She was a 9-11 survivor, missed being in the towers by an hour. She suffered survivors guilt and PTSD from that. Not long after, she discover she had MS that was difficult to treat. I know she enjoyed her life when she could. She had a sweet Kitty, that she adored and was with her many years, that died right before the pandemic. And the pandemic and the isolation were the final straw. She completed suicide earlier this week. She deserved better. So here it is, my tribute to Ilana Graf.