This weekend I found out a friend of mine passed away. It hit me in the gut and knocked the wind right out of me. The words coming through the phone seemed unreal. It was like falling flat on my back and losing every gasp of air.
This isn’t possible. This isn’t real. I should send a text … or call … He’s ok. Hearing his voice … but… but … but … I knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t call. I couldn’t text. I couldn’t even email. There would be no return.
Googling didn’t help either. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for, something, anything. An answer. Any answer.
Only silence. Blank Google searches. Deactivated Facebook account.
It’s the silence that hurts the most. The air that was knocked out of all of us. Everything was empty. Knowing that I’ll not know the answers to the questions I have. That the one person that knew, can no longer answer.
The next phone call hurt even worse. Crying as I explained to a dear friend of his. Afterward he said, “the moon is amazing. Go look at the moon.” I did immediately. Recently I’ve started “chasing the moon” because it is beautiful. It’s beautiful from every side. I want a clearer picture.
So I “chased the moon”. Angry that there was no explanation but knowing that there was pain I didn’t understand, would never understand, right before. The answers locked behind a door that I couldn’t open. I said goodby to the moon – even though the moon couldn’t hear me and he isn’t on the moon.
Which meant, there was more silence. Silence in my car. Silence in my apartment. Even silence in my office today. Many half written sent messages saying, “but how? But why? The rain seems to know.”
Oddly last week I felt I should reach out to my friend, and I hesitated. “What if he thinks I’m being weird? I don’t really have anything specific to say.” Then the call. Why didn’t I reach out? Insecurity? Maybe.
Life is a vapor, a breath, a withering leaf. It is too short for me to be insecure about how a friend perceives me, when I feel the need to reach out to a friend, I should do so. I’ve started trying that more. Even before I knew what was going to happen. I reached out. Then I knew. And now, I reach further. Deeper into my heart and in my friend groups, my acquaintance circle (I made that up, but it’s a thing).
I’ll keep reaching. I’ll reach to the moon if I have to. Reaching to remind my friends and acquaintances and fringes that they are loved and cared about and thought of and prayed for. Reaching until they (you) know, that like the moon, you are beautiful from every side.
Houston, you are dearly missed. While many of us have a million questions and know we may never have the answers, we pray for your family and friends and those who are here mourning your loss. With love, B