One year later and Still there is a piece of my Heart missing.
I didn’t know I could continue on, when A part of me died.
You were my brother aNd friend. You were so full of lifE.
The days leading up to the one year anniversary have been full of nausea, anxiety and dread, during a season that was supposed to be filled with joy.
I placed a dam in front of this geyser of emotion that stirs beneath my smooth exterior.
There have been so many ups and downs – the greatest down being the loss of your physical life. In the aftermath, I have attempted to emulate the beauty I saw in you. I found courage I didn’t know I had, to be as strong as possible for your family. I have seen the sadness in your parents’ and sisters’ eyes and my heart has ached with them. I absorbed some of the heaviness from your loved ones, when in their presence. I stood up to the last person to see you alive and asked them to leave your celebration of life, to protect those gathering in your memory. I met your sweet girlfriend and learned of your hopes and dreams for the future that you will no longer share. I reconnected with your best friend and shared laughs and stories about you.
We are all missing you.
Over the last year, I’ve gone through what feels like a trial by fire initiation, transmuting each and every part of my life. I questioned everything, exploring one paradox after another:
I have never felt so alone and been so surrounded by people.
Suicidal thoughts have been abundant, yet trumped by my will to live.
I loved greatly and unconditionally, without it reciprocated.
Promises were made and left unfulfilled.
Things I thought I knew, I didn’t actually know.
I am sensing now that this is how you felt while you were physically here
and I wish I had known, so I could’ve been there for you.
Still, I have learned a lot about myself and others and missing you has helped me to see things in different ways.
~ We should’ve all come together before you died. Time is fleeting and we must seize more moments, to laugh and support each other, while we are still in these bodies.
~ I learned how to interact with people who are grieving, how to be humble, and how challenging giving unconditional love can be through the filter of Ego.
~ There’s an effective way to draw people to a cause – by being consistent in spirit and intention and not by isolating and vilifying the very people you are trying to help.
~ I have slowly gotten more comfortable feeling uncomfortable and am making an effort to be more in my body and to feel, when experiencing heavy emotions or trauma.
~ I am a greater support to others, when I take care of myself first. I help where I can and am aware of the energy I currently have on reserve.
~ I learned that just because I want to believe something doesn’t make it true and that people can and will disappoint you, but it’s what you do with that disappointment that makes you stronger.
~ Loving someone does not guarantee love in return and death can change people, but it’s ultimately up to the individual to decide how and if they’ll be changed.
~ I learned that people can perceive you in a particular way that may or may not be true and that this perception can alter your relationship with these people forever.
~ Sometimes the people you haven’t seen in years know you better than you’d expect. And sometimes those people can show you more love and consideration than the ones you spend most of your time with.
We all died a bit when you died and I am grieving the loss of what was and how changed some of us are in the wake. I valued how you treated others and your loyalty to your friends. You were gold, not gold plated.
I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger now than I was a year ago, even if I feel more alone.
I learned how many people loved and love you and are still hurting and missing you and how much I love them for it.
And, after walking through the fire, I have finally learned how I will honor your life:
Addiction is a ‘dis-ease’ that transcends the physical realm and I intend to focus my healing practice on helping beautiful people free themselves from the unseen forces that manipulate and exploit pain, fear and suffering.
For you, brother…
~ NOSCE TE IPSUM ~
Thank you, Shane, for showing me so much over the last year
and for walking with me through this process.
I love you.