Today would have been Eitan Stern-Robbins’ twentieth birthday. He is not here to celebrate it… taken by an epileptic seizure as he slept in his freshman dorm room, two Valentine’s Days ago. His mother, my friend, Lisë Stern started posting on Facebook after Eitan died. And that soon grew into a weekly journal of sorts. A tribute to her son… and a way to cope with the loss of him. Those Facebook posts have now been gathered in a blog to commemorate Eitan’s life. It’s a moving tribute to a kid who was ‘normal’ by most measures – yet he had an extraordinary impact on the lives of his family, his friends, and the communities he moved through: summer camp, Cambridge, high school, and the start of college.
I never met Eitan. I wish I had… I’ve come to know him through his mother’s written recollections. Her stories about Eitan have made me laugh, and cry, and consider the life of this boy who had only just become a man when he was taken from us.
So, I celebrate that life today. And that is why I’ve made this my #100happydays post today. That may seem an odd choice. It isn’t. I am happy that Eitan came into this world and spread joy every one of his nearly 7,000 days. He left this world a better place than when he found it, in so many ways. And I am happy that my friend Lisë has survived the most horrible year of loss imaginable. Three months after Eitan’s death, her partner of many years, Larry, also died unexpectedly. She has shown such strength and resilience – and such honesty as she writes about Eitan and Larry. I know they would be so proud of her, too.
Here is the link to Eitan’s blog: EITANSTERNROBBINS.WORDPRESS.COM and also this website created by one of Eitan’s friends as a way of remembering Eitan with samples of his writing, artwork, videos. The stories offered here by his family and friends are wonderful: WWW.EITANSTERNROBBINS.COM
To a life well lived.
Day 086 #100happydays