On March 4, 2018, I woke up to post the lineups for the Udinese match, as I usually do on game days. I opened a tab and pulled up the draft of the story I’d knocked out the previous night, lacking just the list of starters and any late news, then opened a new tab with Twitter, which is usually the quickest place to find the XIs.
The first thing I noticed was that there were pictures of Davide Astori everywhere on the page. It only took a second for my confusion to sink into the pit of my stomach and convert itself to horror as I learned that Fiorentina’s captain had passed in his hotel room the night before the game.
That was four years ago and it still doesn’t feel real to me. I remember closing my laptop screen after a couple of minutes and staring at the wall across from my couch. My partner found me like that, tears trickling down my face, and asked what was wrong. All I could muster was, “Davide Astori just died,” before breaking down completely.
Even now, as I’m typing this out, I can feel those tears rising again. I’d rather not write this, if I’m being honest. I’d rather try to ignore it and finish work and finish class and go out with some friends for dinner and try to ignore it, even though I can’t, really. I’d rather just curl myself around the hurt place inside of me and quietly let it knit itself back together.
That’s what we’re all trying to do, though, constantly and unsuccessfully, and the world and our own thoughts constantly interrupt us and prevent us from ever healing all the way. I’m not saying that the grief and the pain are good things, necessarily, but they can help you bring back someone who’s gone, and that makes them worth it.
Nostro capitano, sempre con noi. Ciao, Davide.