Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Bad with the Good

Just when you think you've got things figured, Life throws you a curve ball.

For those of you wondering, I was already running behind on my word count goal. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to get the current story done on time.

This afternoon I received word that my cousin had died this morning. He's only 4 years older than me, 36 years old. He was the closest thing I had to a brother, and one of my favorite people in the whole world.

I am in absolute shock, down to my core. Seemed like I hit anger and denial and grief all at once. I can't imagine that he's gone - my brain just won't wrap around the concept.

After a good long cry, I spent some time outside. It was a beautiful day - sunny but with big fluffy white clouds, not too hot, not too humid, and wonderfully breezy. I sat on the ground in the shade of a tree and dug my fingers through the grass until I touched the earth. I closed my eyes and centered, connected with the world around me, reconnected with the larger All and knew the peace that comes with it.

And then a mosquito reminded me that pain is part of being alive.

I know that part of my heart is forever broken. But death is part of life, pain is part of living. I'm alive. He's not. And even though it seems like the world can't possibly be the same beautiful place it was yesterday when he was still alive, I know it is. The world goes on. Life goes on. It's just us individuals that stop. And as callous as that sounds, I take comfort in it.

I know that the funeral is going to be one of the worst experiences of my life. That I'm still somewhat in shock, and the true pain of his loss still hasn't hit yet. That for months (if not years) to come I will find myself crying for seemingly no reason, that things which once did not distress me will call the pain to mind and I'll have to wrestle with it all over again. That one of the few people on this planet who truly understood me, who was friend and brother and co-conspirator and soulmate, is gone from me, and never again in this life will I see his smile or hear his laugh.

And yet, I know that life goes on. That it is no shame or betrayal to admit that this too shall pass. And that some day I will face it again, and some day it will be my turn to pass from this life.

I love this life, and this world. I'll take the pain. But I don't have to like it.

Hug someone you love today.

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