I would like to take a minute to step back from my normal topics and tell you about the passing of a dear friend:
Last night I slept in Be'er Sheva in Adam's room in the dorms, and as he had an early class this morning, he woke up before I did. As he was moving around in the room getting ready for school etc., he noticed my phone ringing and tossed it to me. Gadi was calling (for what I later saw was the 8th time in a very short span of minutes). His blurred words went something like this: "Jonah bro, sorry for waking you up, but this is really serious. Josh Guitelman passed away last night..." and the rest was just in one ear out the other. I asked him to repeat everything a couple of times just to make sure I understood correctly.
I have known Guitel since I was his age. My last summer as a camper at Camp Ramah in New England, summer 2004, my whole age group also did CIT work, and I CIT'ed for Guitel's bunk of crazy, lovable 12 year-olds. I knew I loved those kids then, and two summers later, as a junior counselor on staff in 2006, I was his counselor in bunk 57/58, the bunk of the "Bat Killers." That summer he was without a doubt one of my best and favorite campers. This past summer, in 2008, I was once again a counselor for his age group, with them now as the oldest campers in camp. Once again he proved to be an amazing camper. Easy going, a little attitude (but always listened when things got serious), the ladies loved him, an excellent Ultimate player, and most importantly, loved by all.
Guitel's Frisbee prowess had been growing over the years, and he had high hopes for excelling at the next level. Last night, life took a nasty turn. Josh was playing in a high school Frisbee match and mid game he apparently dropped to the ground, and just never got up.
When Gadi relayed this story to me this morning, I basically was in shock. I was hurt and frustrated, because I felt very aloof from my campers, my boys, whom I could not be near to console and be consoled. It has just been overall a pretty weird (in a bad sense) sort of day.
That Josh's body collapsed at such an early age is simply put, shitty.
There is no explanation. He was 16 years and 360 days old. I love Josh very much and find it hard and even partly inconceivable to think about my campers without him playing a dominant part in the picture.
We will all miss you, and already do.