A Memoriam

I have been remiss in posting the last few days. That’s on me. I was coming up with the third part of my Care Needed series (focused on sequels) and it was a little bit more difficult to formulate into words expediently than I expected.

So I thought, well, I won’t get it out Thursday, but I’ll pop it up Friday. Friday rolled around and I thought,  eh, I don’t want to post it so late, we’ll just swing Sarurday and I’ll apologize.

Then my best friend called me up to tell me that a mutual friend (and one of his best friends and one time brother-in-law) passed away a couple days back from a brain tumor he had been dealing with for a couple years. Frankly, I stopped worrying about updates. I did, however, feel compelled to write something so I could try and deal with the feelings.

Even so, I’m unsure of the words I want to choose to put down. It’s difficult, sometimes, to articulate the ways someone impacted your life. The loss is much more difficult for my best friend who had a stronger and closer friendship with him. Even so, the man was someone I had many interactions with over the years and was engaged to someone I loved very much. I was invested in him too, and though we were never terribly close, I admired him for his intelligence and his humor.

His sarcasm was on a whole different level. People often weren’t sure if they should be offended or not because they had a difficult time understanding the jokes he was making. He liked to push boundaries and buttons but he also was very loyal to the people he cared about and he was excellent at helping brighten a situation or a mood with a well-timed joke.

He was smart. Very smart. He was hilarious. He was loyal. He was good-natured and strong. He was far too young.

I went out last night with the intention of losing myself in a booze stupor. I was in a funk and my response to that, unhealthily, is to drown it. I felt sorrowful and was content to languish.

That didn’t happen necessarily. I took my new roommate out. He moved up from Oregon and knew nothing of the Anchorage nightlife, so I took him to the biggest bar in town, introduced him to some of my friends and we played pool (meaning he slaughtered me, because I am terrible at billiards). When we got there, I ran into this girl I like.

It’s funny. She’s beautiful. Artistic. Sings like nothing I’ve ever heard and I can’t get it out of my head. She’s funny. A bit nerdy. Most of all, she’s just fucking easy to be around.

I needed that. I did. We didn’t talk much while she was there. She sat and watched me suck at pool and drank her wine and didn’t talk shit. It was nice just…having a presence there for a little bit that I knew was supportive.

After she left, the night was a blur. Shots and toasts and memories and stories. I didn’t want to break down in front of this roommate I barely know but I did get temperamental with someone over a pool table towards the end of the night which is something I’ve never done. So there’s that.

I woke up today unsettled. This was the second friend I’ve lost in a month. Both were young, incredibly intelligent, had a sharp sense of humor. Though the circumstances around their passings were vastly different, they’re equally tragic and came way, way too soon.

I’m reminded of the fragility of mortality and how fleeting is the passage of time. It is a jarring sensation that puts things into perspective. On one planet in the vastness of the cosmos, how much energy are we wasting on grudges and negative emotions,  on wishing on what could have been or should have been? It’s difficult sometimes to see the beauty in life, in the little things. The smell of a flower on the wind or the way the sun glints off snow. It’s difficult sometimes to appreciate the impacts other people have on our lives with something as simple and small as a kind word or a thoughtful gift.

I have seen and am seeing the reprecussions of death amongst the friends and family of those that have been lost recently and it is absolutely heartbreaking. You can’t measure grief or emotional devastation, nor can you predict the waves in which it comes. The personal pain I feel is magnified by the ache I feel for those who knew them better and I only wish there was something more I could do.

For my part, I think it’s time I put a little more stock in the appreciation I show others for being a part of my life. I want to focus on taking more chances on the things I care about, on not letting my personal demons get the better of me. I want to let past tragedies and mistakes go and focus more on my future.

Life can be so beautiful if we only endeavor to look. It can also be so, so short. Too short for harsh words and doubts and regrets and the things that were never said.

Rest in peace,  my friend. The world’s a little darker with you gone, but our hearts are much lighter for your having been.

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