When a Friend Dies

This evening I find out a friend of mine died on October 9. He was 57 years old. I learn this and my insides fold inward, as if they are in some primal embrace.

There is no escaping from this loss. The sound of his laugh, his rapier sharp humor, his hefty wisdom streak, though I think he avoided digesting the wisdom he so generously shared with others, including me, the fact I loved him, as did many others, nothing will bring him back. The light is out.

For a time there is less oxygen in the air when a friend dies, a little less light in the day, the sun seems to dim and the stars in the sky seem hazed. It’s as if all of life is diminished by the loss. And then, as life is, you are given a chance to remember to live. You are allowed the chance to open doors and, as Thoreau said, live the life you imagined. The sun regains its strength and the air it s oxygen and the stars their luster. Life is present, and so are you. Live it.

Time will still all our voices. Until then, live. Don’t let those who wounded you in your history stop you from living your life now. I don’t care who they were. My message to you is live, remember to live. And remember to tell your friends you love them. Thankfully, my friend knew I loved him because I told him.

Rest in peace, J.B.

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