Angelic music from her voice, as I accompanied her, moved me to tears at times. Familiarity with the grace in every Greta-graphite picture I witnessed etched a memory into my soul. Through her patience, she loved, admired, and respected all that surrounded my life. With strength, she fought through until her body could no longer handle what appendiceal cancer threw at her.
Tuesday evening, Greta died. A very significant part of my life slipped away from me, … from us.
I miss her. Those three words have been repeating over and over in my head since Tuesday evening. No amount of distracting sunshine walks or meals with friends these past 24 hours seem to ease the pain. Brain tears have been happening behind my mask of pushing through the “need to be dones” in my life.
This is what death looks like. I don’t appreciate not having Greta to take care of today, or tomorrow, or … ever again. It’s painful to know there’s no more of that beautiful voice in front of my piano. Loss of this breadth is almost incomprehensible.
I’ve had loss, but not like this. It’s surreal. I’m on an unending carousel of memories with Greta. On this ride, we’ve been experiencing fun, exciting things together. Lunches at SAMA, picnics, Doug’s Dawgs events, pizza with my dad, … Seems like if we weren’t rehearsing, food was a major contributor to our experiences?🤔.
Life with her was an unending, somewhat unpredictable, fascinating twist of energy, love, compassion, heart, and fun.
Without her, it seemed as though that mix was no longer possible when I sat alone late Tuesday night on a dark patio.
Then, a few hours ago, I walked by where Greta made her graceful last curtain call from this world. Over on stage left stood the last vase of daisies I bought for her. She loved daisies. There in that vase, supporting cast members stood applauding a life filled with what she loved: her dogs, Rex and Murphy, music, art, her immediate family, close friends … and me.
Yes, me. That piano guy she decided to fold into her life with, maybe, two years to live. We got less together. But, overall, I got significantly more.
In a nutshell, I have a better understanding of who I am. My personal growth, with Greta’s tugs and halts, found a path forward. As a few stubborn rocks took some time to navigate around, she waited (somewhat) patiently for my opinions and behaviors to change. Some did, others didn’t. There are live-alongs in my life that will be with me forever.
In the end, I am a changed man because Greta took the time to love me.
We were all changed if Greta smiled in our direction. Our lives will not be the same without her here. Tuesday evening, the world lost a beautiful person. Our community lost a gifted singer and artist. Her family lost a daughter, aunt, and sister.
I lost a connection. A partner in that magical, mysterious, musical world where a pianist and vocalist could live without fear, anxiety, and judgement. A lunch date who helped me laugh at myself … and at her. She was a lover of my life and one who accepted my love of her life.
Yes, absolutely incomprehensible right now. I loved Greta. Her contribution to my life will never be forgotten.
If reading this as a friend of Greta’s, may your memories be wonderfully fulfilling as mine … and may her love for you extend far beyond the horizon of every daisy patch you see.
Greta, we miss you. Spread your energy to the world – be that guiding light to others as you were to me. Sing. Echo your songs across the cosmos. Paint the skies your favorite shade of purple for us sometime.
You were, simply the best – and still are. “Smile, though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it’s breaking.”
I will every time I think of you, Greta. I most certainly will 🎙️🎹💕