RIP David… you were loved, by so many, for not nearly long enough and the world is dimmer at your passing. But truly, your death, for those of us left behind wrought so many other things that have flooded my brain, things that I’m still trying to sort out. Things that I cannot really find the words to speak about.
You were one of us. Too young. Taken. Gone. Yet in death you reunited us. The remains of our small tribe. Beaten, battered, scarred, yet still standing. And betrayed in a way at the loss of you. Because your loss means our own mortality is very much in our minds. If you can die then our own survival becomes a question. And our certainty about survival becomes less.
I hope you’re at peace. They say you’re not in pain anymore. I’m not sure. I cannot imagine a greater pain than being dead. Being gone. Being alone. I hope “they’re” right. I hope I’m wrong about where you are now.
But “they” also say that every death is accompanied by new life and seeing us three together, I hope “they’re” right. I hope our tribe is reuniting in old age, much like we were knitted together of miscast threads in our youth. Growing old is scary. Growing old alone is worse. Death divides and unites. Death brings death, and life. Life brings hope and fear and pain and joy. Death is hard, life is harder. Life together- with the people who know all of your secrets and pain, all of your oldest dreams and fears- is easier somehow, but it’s also more scary.
Much more scary.
It’s much easier to be someone else if the people who know the real you aren’t there to point out your subterfuge. Aren’t there to say “I’m pretty sure that you’ve got on no clothes”. Aren’t there to pull off your mask and make you be real. I’m not sure that I’m real anymore. Are you? Is anyone?
Are you sure?
Your death, a haven for you from any more feelings, has for us opened up a whole chapter of nothing but for those of us left behind. Your urn led us to a cemetary filled with the life we left when we moved into adulthood full of hubris and snarls and the belief that we could walk away from our wreckage and never deal with the horrible things we had wrought in the lives of the others we were attached to like siamese twins intent on doing each other harm. Your death made us acknowledge that life. That pain. That fear. The silence of words we never could say to each other but that we needed to shout to the world. These are the things we received along with the loss of you. The terror of finally telling the truth. Comparing our stories. Remembering the same things differently.
Oh so differently.
Interestingly, your death is filled with infinite peace for you but yet ripe with complexity for those of us left behind. Sorting through our reunion, figuring out how we fit now, remembering the passion, the anger, the disappointment, the love.
Yes, the love. That we thought was gone. That’s still with us today. A living breathing thing. That wrapped us in its wings and comforted us in our loss of you. Gave us peace. Peace like it gave you.
And truthfully I almost envy you for that peace. Somehow being dead is easier. No worries. About anything. Just dead. At peace. And I hope you are. At peace that is. We will be. I’m sure. Eventually. Now that we’re reattached. Like we were years ago. You had the power to unite and to divide. I think we’re together. I hope we stay that way. Even if it’s complicated. Even if it challenges us. Even if we struggle. As long as we hang onto each other. As long as we hang onto the thread of the rope that love threw us. I hope we will.
We love you David. We mourn your loss. We wish it wasn’t you to go. One of the youngest. One of the most alive. You should have lived. You were one of the good ones. But we didn’t get to choose. You were the one who went. And you gave us the gift of each other as you left us.
So peace little brother. Rest in peace. We wish you good journeys, fair winds and following seas. We salute you from the shore of a distant life and wish you everything that we can for the dead. We wish you love.
Love. Now, before, after, forever.