It’s really easy for me to be super PMA when everything in my life is going well; to say that life will be full of ups and downs and you have to take them both as they come, accepting the hardships with the wins and trying to remain graceful regardless of what life hands you. But when they hand you something so heartbreaking.. what do you do?
A friend of mine, someone who’s been a presence in my life for going on 20 years, died on Sunday. I spoke to a mutual friend around midnight and then started the all too familiar process of getting in touch with people who I didn’t want to read about it second hand on Facebook when they woke up this morning. That’s been such a weird side effect of social networking; using the deceased’s wall to post farewells often before relatives and close friends even know that the person has passed away. I didn’t want people who knew and loved him to log on and just see it there in black and white, so I made the calls I needed to make, hugged Julia tight and let the reality sink in that another friend, another old friend, is no longer with us.
When I woke up this morning, there it was. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. Sometimes no matter how heartbreaking you have to count your blessings, accept that you can’t change it and be thankful for what you have. In this case, I have my health. I have an amazing partner who supports me, loves me unconditionally and who always knows just what to say to make things better. I have a friendship that lasted decades with an amazing man who had a capacity to love that was unrivaled. And while he’s no longer with us… I’m very thankful that I got to spend the time with him that I did and for the memories of him that I’ll carry with me.
I wrote a little piece about him for Modblog; if you feel like checking it out, please do.
“i had a dream a while back. in it, i met myself. the me that i met greeted the dream me in a way that i often greet people, with hands raised together as if in prayer, a sign of coming in peace. in this dream, the other me had scars shaped like arrows on the heels of his hands. one pointing up, one pointing down. i woke from the dream with this image burned into my mind. over time, the symbolism became clear to me…
as above, so below. the sacred and the profane. heaven and earth. good and evil. black and white. brain and body. what goes up, must come down. there are a million examples and ways to describe the idea, but it all comes back to balance. none of these things would exist without the other. they may occupy opposite ends of a spectrum, but they are inextricably linked to each other. my goal is to maintain that balance in my life. to have one foot in each world. these scars will remind me of that.
I’ve tried, all day, to practice what I preach. I’ve been mostly successful, thanks to texts, emails and messages from friends who miss him as much as I do, who are as confused and as sad as I am. Seeing an outpouring of love- local news in DC doing stories on him, twitter and facebook abuzz… showed me just how much of an impact he made on so many people’s lives. He lived a life worth living, a genuine life, and while I’m heartbroken that it was cut so short, I’ll always be thankful that he was my friend.
I’ve been crazing another adventure; Vegas for APP, San Diego for Comic Con, San Fran just because.. I’ve been lucky this year to be able to travel, to get on the road and to give in to synchronicity again… so I decided on a whim to take a bus ride to Toronto next week to see a movie. 22hrs on a bus, 1000 miles round trip to see a two hour movie. Nonsensical and impractical, just for the sake of ADVENTURE. I booked it several hours before being told about Josh’s passing and it couldn’t have come at a better time. A backpack, a passport and no agenda other than seeing a documentary means three days in one of my favorite cities, means seeing old friends who I don’t see nearly enough, means taking that even when things seem so dark you can make your own light.
“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.” – Mark Twain
Photo: Altar at Julia’s.