Saturday, April 12

December 15. My husband’s voice on my office phone.   My anxiety kicks in. “What?” I ask. “Jordan,” Steve says.

No, no, no, no, no.  My godchild, nephew, only child of my late sister.  A boy-man, 35. Dead of a drug overdose.

My workmates drive me home. What to do?  Call Jane Gould, who is about to take a well-deserved break after Christmas. “Anything,” says Jane.  “Anything”.

Jordan was living in Brooklyn. His father and friends are in New York. My brother and I are here in Massachusetts, where Jordan grew up.  We decide to have the service in Natick, where my brother lives. That way his father and friends won’t have quite so far to drive. Jane arranges everything.  St. Paul’s, Natick. The rector there is gracious and participates in the service. Jordan’s friends all speak of their friendship and struggles. Everyone cries. The cousins — my two young adults and my brother’s 10 and 12 year olds –are beyond being comforted.  The testimonies, the prayers, the French horn playing by St. Paul’s rector, Jane’s presence and words—somehow we get through.

— Ruthanne Switzer