My friend, roommate, and co-worker passed away this weekend. We buried him yesterday in Martinsville. He was 23 years old, creative, fiercely funny, generous, kind, beautifully minded, and incredibly gifted. Emotions still come in waves; I’ll be laughing at a memory one minute and the next weeping over the incomprehensible loss we’ve experienced. I can’t stop hearing him laugh, crack jokes, sing and dance, laugh. The things I remember most clearly are mannerism and gestures, a simple hand movement or the way he walked. He saved me at a very difficult time in my life and I’ll be forever grateful to have known him the past five years. I can’t say enough though I fear saying too little; he is sorely missed, but he’s in the stars. I’m caught between understanding and acceptance, past memories and present reality, terror and tragedy.
I’m on the brink now. I’ve only a little more than a week before I go back home to Michigan and I’m sure my time spent there will be too short. I’ll be so relieved to see my mother, and the rest of my family, whom I’ve not seen since becoming an Invitee.
My affairs are not yet in order; there’s so much work to be done. I have so much reading to do (my pleasure!). I don’t know how much I can truly prepare for moving to the other side of the world, but I’m certainly having fun trying to do as much as possible. It’s been hard this week since time I had planned to have for PC preparation was spent grieving, mourning, celebrating a life and death.
My friends have been such a blessing lately, even though some of them are grieving, too. Friends who’ve fed me and hugged me are especially thanked. All of my friends keep me going these days, even as I prepare to “leave” them (we never really leave our friends behind). My biggest fear is no longer the uncertainty of my new life, but the departure from the strong support network I’ve developed here in Bloomington and maintained in Michigan. I reassure myself that everyone will still be here when I leave… continuing to support me, albeit indirectly. It will be strange to lack the common experiences I now share with my friends, the small things, the familiarities of life in the same town. Even if our paths reconnect, our lives for the next twenty-seven months will be diverged indescribably. This has great potential for beauty!
I don’t want anyone to misinterpret this as a sad posting. Though I’m busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day, this isn’t a new development. I always feel that way. This week has been long and tiring. My spirit needs a few days to recouperate… and I’m afraid I may not have that kind of free time.
In Memoriam, MTL, November 2, 1986 – February 15, 2010.