My friend died.
He had been sick for a while, over a year. It was expected, especially of late.
What I didn’t expect was how much I would MISS him.
I have been thinking about him every day. Things occur to me, I’ll see something beautiful, a storm cloud, a moth, a blossom, and I’ll just automatically think “I miss Benjamin.”
Or I’ll be in a conversation with someone, wanting to make the most of our interaction, and I’ll think “What would Benjamin do here?” And I’ll feel sad that he’s not here anymore to teach me, to help me, to inspire me, to challenge me to think in fresh and expanded ways.
He’s not here to take for granted anymore.
I’m simultaneously sad and grateful. Sad because he’s gone but grateful for the way I feel thinking about him. It lights me up to miss him, because it makes me love. So I’m simultaneously grieved and completely inspired. I’m heartbroken and totally happy.
The world feels blander without Benjamin. But I feel more alive in the space he left.
…and I think this is how I’m supposed to feel ALL the time.
I don’t want to hang on to his death because of how it makes me feel. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, losing one of my best friends helps me realize how much my heart can feel. And that my heart WANTS to feel that way about everything.
Think about it: the entire universe is birthing and dying every moment of every day, all the time conspiring to keep life living. And if Benjamin has now joined this cosmic mystery, when I feel his presence, aren’t I feeling the presence of everything? Can I remember to feel this grief + praise for all the constant gifts, losses, miracles and impossibilities that gift me with life every. single. moment.?
Surely to feel the bigness of this universal sadness and grace is what we are here for. Surely that’s what our hearts are BUILT for. Surely actually trying to do this would change my life.
I don’t know if I know how to even begin it. I don’t know if I know how to maintain it. I don’t know if I want to.
I do know this: I want to feel. I want to break. I want to lose. I want to know what it is to be graced with life on the big scale, know the sadness of what dies to gift me life, know the happiness I am meant to feel in receiving that gift. I want to know my knitedness to life in a way that changes me, slows me, stops me, and causes me to praise all that is ALIVE because I feel like I don’t want to let it go by unacknowledged, just like I don’t want any moments to go by without remembering my friend, without remembering what I’ve been given, without remembering what I’ve lost, and praising it.
Thank you my friend. I miss you so much. I love you. I love life.