Hello friend. It's been far too long. I haven't felt much like writing, there did not seem to be enough things to say. There have of course been things that have happened these past six weeks that are of note. They are important to me, but maybe not everyone.
I needed some time to process the world on my own, to take things a little more introspectively, to make things a little more private. I am sad to say that I fell out of the habit of writing, though I have not fallen out of the habit of wanting, wishing, and missing. All in all, it's been a positive thing. There comes a time when life becomes less of a distraction and becomes, well, life.
I am back because I was provided some unique perspective this weekend that I did not think would have been possible 15 months ago. A good friend of a good friend of mine passed after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was taken from us far too young, and is survived (because that is what this takes, survival in its most bitter form) by a family and group of friends that will always love him dearly.
I had a few chances to meet him on his journey, but regret that I didn't get to know him better. Meeting his family and friends this weekend, spending time with them at their most tender, reminded me of what it must have been like entering into my world as a little of an outsider in July of '16. A death, especially that of someone far too young, has the beautiful side effect of bringing us all closer. Of somehow making us all a family, together if only because something like this can makes us all feel so apart.
Those who are here to remember him are now starting on the hardest journey of their lives. This is the time when the night will be the darkest. When time will be the slowest. When you are forced to take this world one second at a time.
There is nothing nostalgic or enviable about this. It is not something you wish for anyone. But there is also a sweetness and mysticism to it. The curtain to the universe has been pulled back, if only briefly, to allow our dear friend to learn the cosmic answers behind all of this. They are not answers we will ever know, they are only for him. To borrow from Patton Oswalt, there is only chaos, to which we can only respond with kindness.
I had a few minutes to talk with his wife on Saturday. If only to offer my support and to let her know that, while this is one of the hardest clubs to be a member of, it is not a solo endeavor. That though it may not seem like it now, that in time there will be light and life again.
The truth is that there will always be heavy days, something will always be gone. But in time it does get easier and the light will overtake the dark. It is not falling down. It is an upward trajectory. There are days when I am less than good, but I am better than I was, and better than I ever thought I'd be at this point. I do want to keep going, if only because there is still so much to see and hear, to experience and do. There are miles to go before I sleep, and promises yet to keep.
Tom Petty passed earlier this month, which led to many a tributes of "I Won't Back Down". It was hard at first. That was one of the songs we used to say farewell to Melissa in her slideshow. A reminder of the heartbreak of a heartbreaking.
With time the message has shined through again. We won't back down. We will keep going. We will get through, with those who left before us in our hearts and on our minds, and with the help of those who loved them holding us up. We look forward to the next sunrise, and the one after that, and not at this most recent sunset.
We look to the light, and there will be light again. There will be a return of the happiness and joy of life. There will be because that's is what they want for us. Everyday. In time we will see them dance again.