I have had my moments recently. I have felt made of porcelain. Full of hairline fractures, ready to ripen into chasms. I have been living pendulously from one emotion to the next, feeling the sting of tears at the most inopportune moments. And I have tried to reconcile again and again in my mind...WHY? I have no answer. And I can't even begin to fathom how this feels for his own flesh and blood. I ache for them.
He lived more in his 56 years than many people do in an entire lifetime. He left a legacy to be proud of. Amazing kids. An extraordinary wife (did you read this?). Great friends. A job he loved. Students who respected him. And a life he embraced energetically and wholeheartedly -pursuing his hobbies with passion. And he was never afraid to show you that he cared. At every milestone of our lives, he was there with tears brimming in his eyes: graduation, birthdays, his daughter's wedding and most recently - meeting his first grandchild. He always took the time. And he was always so proud. And never afraid to let you know it.
And he was also damn funny. Always joking and quick to laugh. As one friend reminisced back home - 'In high school, you couldn't call her without joking around with him first. He'd pretend you had the wrong number or that he didn't know who you were.' He always made us smile.
And now, he's gone. And it's not fair. And somehow, it is still not real. Again, reconciling. But, the thing is - time doesn't heal anything. It's what you do WITH that time that allows you to heal. And if you spend it like a broken record, skipping over and over again on the same worn-out groove, you'll never hear the rest of the song. Which would be a shame because his song was worth hearing. Every note, worth remembering - and tucking in your back pocket for a rainy day.
So, I know that for those who loved him, the heartache will start to fracture off bit by bit. And those warm moments will melt away some of the grief. And somewhere underneath all of that, a song will be playing. Like it always has. A gentle, soulful reminder of a life well-lived and well-loved. And I know in time, we can all sing along.
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.