Death of a Friend: Six Years Later

Death of a Friend: Six Years Later January 17, 2016

Every year on the anniversary of her death I hope to introduce new people to my best friend Ilana. 

She was a bright light in the world, full of joy and life and passion. We lost her very suddenly. One day she was here on earth and the next she was gone, leaving an incredible void in many lives. It’s still hard to believe that she’s really gone, that I will never hear her laugh again.

I called her and left a voice message on the day she died. She may have already been gone while I was chatting with her voicemail. 

The shape of my grief has definitely changed. I never expected to reach a place where I was mostly at peace with losing Ilana, but I kind of am. The empty place in my life has scabbed over and being without her has become just part of my experience now.

I’d still do anything it took to get her back but I’m no longer considering such measures as the brothers in Full Metal Alchemist. 

Finding out that my baby is a boy was a little disappointing only because I have wanted for the last six years to have the opportunity to name a daughter after Ilana. But we’ll continue to wait to someday have a daughter and honor Ilana in that way. In the meantime I will teach my son about the aunt that he will never know.

One of the things that tempers my grief is spending time with Ilana in my dreams. I frequently have dreams where we are just spending time together, talking, enjoying each other’s company. Some people would say that that is really her spirit coming to spend time with me but I actually hope that it is not. I wouldn’t want her spirit to stay connected to this earth for the sake of my comfort. I hope that she has moved on to whatever the next step is for her. I hope that my grief does not hold her back. 

Ilana Jonsson
Ilana Jonsson


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