A simple derailment in a breakfast conversation changed the course of my Monday. My Tuesday. My Wednesday. My week. My month, maybe (probably) more? Growing up is hard. We've discussed this. I've parted ways with just about everybody I've ever known. It's rarely been amicable, but for those cherished souls who sort of flickered faded away without some violent fanfare, they're tucked away into an everlasting corner of my heart. We're living in different cities, time zones, coasts, counties. We rarely speak. Not for any specific reason other than the fact that we just don't. We go on with our lives. We chase our dreams, we try to make our way in the world without ending up loathing ourselves entirely, and someday, we will die. Some pass on sooner than others. When it happens, it's tragic. It's inevitable. But that doesn't make it any better.
Five simple words was all it took. They're still swirling around in my brain, fluttering like a torrent of moths. So delicate but dangerously furious. "Did you hear what happened?" They echo. The tone so gentle but the news cut like a knife. We hadn't spoken in quite some time but my respect for him was unlike any other. More passion and grit than any other human I may ever know. Laugher and conversation reaching the most genuine kind of intellectual depth went hand-in-hand whenever we brushed shoulders. I was always greeted with a warm hug and the most stunningly authentic smile.
C.S. Lewis once said, "no one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." Life is fleeting and that is a terrifying thought. Even if we have no doubt where we're going afterwards, what will the process be like? Will it hurt? These are things I try not to think about but at times like these, they are unavoidable. I am finite, flawed. We all are. When a beloved brother passes on, it's not a call to be cautious in an attempt to postpone death. It's a call to be courageous. To live every day as if it may be your last. Because it very much could be. It's so cliche but it's true. We never know when our time will come. This is alarming, ghastly, and grim... but also so incredibly humbling.
Have Soul, brother. Until next time.