Carl Bendix Obituary, Death – I was hoping to avoid having to work on my essay this week. In point of fact, the honest truth is that I didn’t believe I was capable of writing it. I’ve been down. I’ve been grieving. This week, my dear friend Carl Bendix, who was one of my closest confidants in the entire world, passed away unexpectedly. A good number of you were first made aware of Carl a few months ago when I published an article in which I discussed his decision to relocate to Costa Rica. It was difficult for me to witness Carl leave Los Angeles because he had been a part of my life for many, many decades. But he assured me every time we talked on the phone that he was pleased with the decision to relocate. He took me on a tour of his property, including the garden and the cottage that his friends had built for him. He gave me his word that his imaginative mind was already planning things for the future that the two of us could do together.
I couldn’t help but picture Carl spending his golden years on the porch of his home, with his devoted canine companion Bodhi by his side. My imagination conjured up a scene of him presiding over a gathering, regaling everyone present with tales and imparting both his knowledge and his love. But that did not turn out to be the case. Carl is now a member of the heavenly host. Because he had a deep affection for angels, it brings me peace to consider him in this heavenly form. When I think of him now, he is joining a great number of other beings whom I have loved and then lost. They are what I call my “celestial team,” and they are amazing.
It is important to be kind to yourself if you are going through the grieving process after the death of a loved one. You must also make an effort to keep going. At the very least, that is what I’ve realized through the course of my own experiences that have accumulated over the years. I feel like death has been such a constant in my life, from the assassinations of my uncles when I was at a young age, to losing cousins to drug overdoses and/or accidents, to losing aunts, uncles, grandparents, and of course, both of my parents. I feel like death has been a constant in my life. I feel like I’ve walked alongside grief many times, or it has walked alongside me. It has, on occasion, brought me to my knees. But there are other times when I get the impression that we have reached a truce.
This past week, my daughter told me, “I’d hate to be your age and have to watch your friends start to die,” and as many of you are well aware from personal experience, it is a very difficult thing to go through. Incredibly, horribly challenging. In point of fact, a friend of mine just sent me a picture of Carl, myself, and three other friends—Nancy, Charlotte, and Bonnie—all of whom have moved on from our group in the past few years. The photograph brought tears to my eyes. However, this does not only happen to people my age when they lose friends or family members. It doesn’t matter how old you are; you could still lose someone you love.
Providing yourself with the time and space to mourn and work through your emotions is the first step toward moving on. Therefore, I gave myself permission to cry this past week. I tried to be kind and patient with myself. I told people who also cherished Carl tales about his life and adventures. I made an effort to be there for them, to acknowledge their suffering, and to listen to the stories they shared; in return, they did the same for me. I also made an effort to celebrate, as there were many reasons to do so, such as the premiere of a film that my daughter Christina and I had worked on together for a number of years prior to the event in question. The documentary “Take Your Pills: Xanax” is a follow-up to the first film that my co-director and I made for Netflix several years ago, which was titled “Take Your Pills” and was about Adderall. The new film, which is currently available to stream on Netflix, focuses on the rise of anxiety in our society and the medications that so many people turn to in order to get through their daily lives.
Having sorrow while also having joy Currently lying down while continuing on. The reality of life is full of apparent contradictions. In the course of my life, I’ve realized that some things that, in the past, I would have never thought could be put together, actually can. You simply need to bring them to light and show respect for both sets of feelings. You show them respect by omitting the word “but” and replacing it with “and.”