February 16, 2006

A Boy Named Mookie

His name was Mark, but his family called him Mookie. He lived a life that was way too short. I think that he was about six or so when he died.

I don’t know much about him beyond that. For that matter I couldn’t tell you if this little boy was shy or outgoing. I don’t know if he had dark hair or light, brown or blue eyes. I couldn’t tell you if he had a favorite toy. I am at a loss to answer any questions about why he was taken at such a young age.

Was his passing quick and painless? Was it an accident or an illness? Again these are things that I cannot answer because beyond what I have told you I know very little. I don’t know his family or any friends who can shed more light on who this little boy was.

What I do know is that he is buried in a grave that looks out upon rolling hills of green and that on a sunny day it is quite pretty. If you close your eyes and let the sun warm your back it is very pleasant. If you close your eyes you just might forget for a moment that you are in a cemetery. But the moment you open them you remember.

It is not something that you can easily forget. It may be pretty but it is still a somber setting. It is hard to find a time in which you do not hear the tears and grief of those who come to say goodbye to loved ones. And sometimes you encounter those who are unable to say goodbye. Sometimes you see them sobbing next to or on top of a plot.

During those moments I try hard to give them their privacy. For those people whose grief is so strong I try not to make it any harder by staring or making too much noise. They are mourning and I understand that better than I want to.

So you may wonder how it is that I came to know Mookie. You may wonder why I know so much and so little about someone’s little boy. I know because he is buried close to the grave of a dear friend. A dear friend who has taken on the responsibility of looking out for Mookie and helping him along whatever path he walks upon now.

At least that is what I think is happening. I don’t really know. I don’t know what happens after you die. I have some thoughts, some guesses but I can’t say with anymore authority than the next guy. What I know is that from time to time I have dreamt about my friend and that sometimes when I dream about him he is accompanied by this little boy.

Maybe these are just the foolish musings of a man who sometimes misses his friend. Maybe there is nothing more than that. Maybe it is just a wish or maybe there is something to it. I don’t really know for sure.

All I know is that the idea of D looking out for Mookie comforts me. It feels right and it feels good and I don’t see any harm in it.

So if Mookie’s parents should ever read this let me say a couple of things. As the father of a young boy who is close to Mookie’s age I can’t offer anything but my sincere condolences. But I can tell you this too. D is a good guy, the best. Don’t worry about Mookie because D will be there to help him. He’ll be there to comfort him when he is scared and his mommy isn’t around and he’ll be there to teach him the things that you missed out on.

Mookie is going to be ok because D is there and he won’t let him down.


11 comments:

Stacey said...

How sad. I truly hope there is something looking after all the lost souls.

Regina Clare Jane said...

That was a beautiful post, Jack... probably Mookie is as much a comfort to your friend, D, as he is to Mookie...

cruisin-mom said...

I often wonder about the life story of the people as you step over gravestones when you are at the cemetery.

I have a hard time believing anything happens once we die. It's not cynical as much as it's just my realistic thinking.

But I love your story and hope that D really is looking out for Mookie. There is something very comforting about that.

RH said...

Everytime I visit the graves of my parents on Har Menuchot, I think about the tragic deaths of all those who died young who never got a chance to fully live their lives.
But then again, we are one day closer to death.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

That's a nice thought. Kind of a Big Brothers program for the next life. And why couldn't it be like that?

Ezer K'negdo said...

Very thoughtful and sweet post. Also read the "D" post - very moving. I really believe the spirit lives long after the body is gone. Mookie is lucky to be traveling with D.

Jack's Shack said...

Stacey,

Me too.

RCJ.

I hope so.

CM,

It makes me feel better.

RH,

I am thankful for all of my days.

Q,

It could be, why not. I kind of like that thought.

Ek,

I sure hope so.

Richmond said...

That is faith. Mookie is in good hands...

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Richmond,

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This an incredible blog. I'm 16 and went looking for some inspiration from anyone who could help but i think you have inspired me the most. I think that deep thoughts are good for you and if you let those thoughts out you can somehow become a better person. You can learn more about yourself and where your heart is. My father has passed away and my mother had breast cancer. Its hard for me to get up everyday knowing that he is gone but I still get up because someone else might depend on me and I need to stay strong for that person. Thank you for inspiring me. You might have just saved me Jack. :)

Jack said...

Hang in there anonymous. There is a lot to experience. It is not always good, but if you stick around you see that more often than not the good outweighs the bad. Thanks for coming by.