When my best friend Matt Boren called me to tell me of the passing our dear mutual NYU friend Alana’s husband Andrew, it sucked the breath and pulled the tears out of all of us. Andrew was young (41), brilliant, the husband of a dynamic, wonderful woman, and the father of 3 precious young boys. His life was exemplary – he was a dream chaser, and a friend to all. This is the unimaginable. This is the never forget. This is the story to which you hold all complaints. Matt so beautifully shared a story in honor of Andrew, and I had to share it.
But before I do –
The Andrew Unterberg Education Fund was set up by his family as a place to make contributions in his honor for the benefit of his and Alana’s boys – Beckett, Dillon and Landon.
Andrew Unterberg unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at the age of 41 while vacationing with his wife, Alana Unterberg. Andrew’s passing cut short a life that was defined by his infectious personality, his compassion, his keen intellect and boundless energy for new ideas and opportunities. Andrew possessed profound empathy, warmth and self-awareness. His sense of humor endeared him to family and a wide, diverse circle of friends, whom he so deeply loved. Ultimately, his greatest passion in life was his family. Andrew was a devoted husband, a loving father to his three boys and a wonderful brother and son. Andrew’s love for his wife Alana and their sons Beckett (9), Dillon (7), and Landon (5) was boundless. Our hearts ache for the Unterberg family, but we know that Andrew’s memory will live on through our memories and through the acts of support and generosity that we bestow on the Unterberg family to help them navigate this unimaginable tragedy.
Andrew was a diligent student for many years but also an auto-didactic who devoured knowledge and loved to share it with everyone and particularly his kids. It was a dream of his and remains one of Alana’s that their boys receive the education they always intended to provide them.
If you live in the Brooklyn/ New York Area:
In order to help Alana and her family during this difficult time her friends have also organized a Meal Train page to allow friends and community members to contribute food, services, time, and donations to alleviate some of the daily stresses, as they find their way in this new reality.
Sewing With Heart String
The rains have been heavy here in Southern California. While those of us from the East Coast delight in any weather reminding us of home, the land and everything that occupies it seems to flinch at any dramatic shift. Our youngest daughter’s bedroom got a ceiling leak- turned fountain and she has had to camp out in her older sister’s room until repairs are made. I curled up with them as the elder, Evvy (9), pilfered through her drawers to give River (7) all of the clothing she could no longer fit into. Among those items were a handful of pieces Evvy stitched and sewed herself. Evvy has attended this great design school here in Los Angeles called The Unincorporated Life where she has learned to make clothing from scratch. As Evvy explained the way she stitched the jumper and the shorts together I started to cry.
Earlier in the week we were to have drinks with our friends Alana and Andrew. They had come in from New York, left their three young boys in the care of a trusted loved one, and expected to have a wonderful and rare getaway. Not 24 hours before we were to meet for drinks, Andrew (41) suddenly and tragically passed away.
The community that surrounds Alana and Andrew has leapt into action but more over, from what I have witnessed, the community has morphed into a cohesive thing. A one. A singular entity. Something, seemingly, stitched and sewn together.
We are nothing in this life if we are not connected to other beings. Our hearts demand connection. There is no great moment if not shared with others and conversely, there is no way through tragedy if there is no fabric weaved tight enough for us to fall on to.
I want to continue to sew my life with heart strings. I want the same for you. And more than anything, I want for our dear Alana and her three beautiful boys to know they are not alone but that they are, in fact, forever connected to us and we to them by the invisible threads of the heart.