Monday, January 13, 2020

a letter to the beyond: three years gone

On the job: My Teacher

Three years have passed since I've been in your physical presence, heard your voice on the phone, gotten an email from you.

So many times I go back to your "knowing" about your premature death. 

Your hunch. 

Men in our family die early, you said.

Nah, please think positive. Look how old mom is. You'll have a long life.

You laughed, Well don't think you're immune; you are from the same gene pool. 

(thanks bro)

A mere half a year later you call me and ask me to keep your confidence, sharing concern about your memory. 

That was our last extended lucid conversation.

God, I miss our talks.

So very many people will be thinking of you today. 

Who else could have been considered a "best friend" by so many people?
The premature death conversation occurred right before this photo was taken on his trip to New Zealand. Photo taken by one of my BFF's whose daughter had taken her life when she was 19, but is so full of love and light. He sobbed as we left her, so touched by her story and the way she walked in the world and the loving connection he felt.
No one can compare their level of loss or grief with anyone else– each is so utterly unique. 

Prior to your departure, when I had ever considered Death visiting our family, I had always breathed a sigh of relief knowing you and I would grow old together and your grace would guide me.

Together we would comfort and care for and then dismantle and sort what was left behind of our mother. 


Imagine the intenseness of your absence, having to walk that terrain with our mother a mere ten months after your departure (although there were many times I perceived your ethereal support). 

Three years or three lifetimes; it feels like forever. 

A huge piece of me went with you. 

Thank you for teaching me full-spectrum-living: 
  • to question and not settle
  • to feel all the feelings– deep and wide 
  • to stop, pause and do the right thing
  • to be brave and bold, tuning into my inner compass 
  • to walk through the fires of fear and explore with an open mind and heart
  • to be a justice seeker
  • to love with abandon– even if it means indescribable pain 
  • to turn heartbreak into hallowed ground
  • that divinity lies within– just around the corner from grace 
  • and for showing me that talking, processing, feeling and talking some more beats the shit out of childhood trauma  
  • teaching me, by your actions, that men could be kind, helpful, listeners and great talkers; that all men did not spew aggressive rage––not that I didn't require a "talking to" now and again, but as with most everything, you chose compassion and that taught me to do my best to do the same 
Thank you for being my first and best Teacher as I send you so much love today and every day.

                                         *                      *                    *

My brother could have written this song; it reminds my family of him:

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