Just over a month ago I heard that Daniel Cho drowned in a swimming accident while on tour in Switzerland.
Cho was a composer and cellist who toured with Regina Spektor in addition to arranging and doing cello work for other popular musicians. I didn’t know him, but he fell in the pantheon of folks who I admired for being talented, dedicated and hard working enough to make playing this instrument a career.
Last night I was checking my google alerts (I have one that brings up all things “cello” – where do you think I get all this wacky business about chocolate and Jaws scores from?) and I came on a blog entry about a young woman unpacking a cello. Thinking I had stumbled on yet another adult beginner (or re-beginner) I scanned the recent posts.
Turns out the woman is a widow and the mother of a young daughter who recently lost her husband, a cellist, in a tragic accident. I had an inkling even before I ran her name Jo Julie through Google and came on the series of article about Daniel Cho’s death and the benefit concert in his memory.
All of a sudden, Daniel Cho ceased to be a cello related headline and became a beloved husband and father. For the last 24 hours I’ve been mesmerized by Julie’s blog “Dear Audrey” chronicling the days and months immediately following the death of her husband and Audrey’s father.
At first I felt a little guilty for reading – I worried that I was being a voyeur because I don’t KNOW these people other than as names on a screen. Though I’ve lost a beloved grandfather, my experience with grief has been somewhat limited. Her entries are honest, insightful, painful and wonderful, sometimes all at once. It’s impossible to keep her at arm’s length or a stranger’s distance. Read a few and you may feel like I do: How this young woman has the courage to share what she must now endure is amazing. I’m also grateful that she is able to share this journey and I hope that her blog serves as an outlet to help her get through this most unimaginable circumstance as well as a reminder for herself and her daughter of Daniel’s life.
I’ve become a fan of Julia and Audrey as much as I might have once of Daniel. I want to see them get through this with my whole heart: to survive and live and thrive. Daniel was really just at the beginning of his career as a professional cellist in New York and I can’t imagine the uncertainty his loss has left in all areas of their lives. If you want to help or find out more about Daniel, Julia and Audrey a memorial website has been set up in their name.
I can’t help feeling like this story came back to me for a reason from a headline I read over two months ago, and now I can only hope that by passing it on it gets anywhere else (and to anyone else) it needs to be. If nothing else it reminds me that every human being is someone in relation to another human being. Our individual existences are validated in some way through our connections to one another. At death it is the people on the other end of those connections that feel the sudden absence like a phantom limb and must somehow carry on.
Best of luck to you, Audrey and Julia as you learn to carry on without your dear one. You are in my prayers.