Celebrating an absence is never easy.
How do you commemorate a Birthday in death? How do you celebrate one’s arrival when they have already departed? I would light candles for you now, in celebration, only to extinguish them in two months time in mourning. These are strange bookends. If you could see what I see now, if you were here, if you knew what I knew if, if, if…
46 candles today. You’d still have air to blow them out. Funny kid. Awkward. Uncomfortable in your own shoes. You spent most of your life walking around with a poster of Iggy or Ozzy stuck over the space where you should have been. It never really suited you, was far less than the actuality of what you were. You never saw that though, always saw yourself as a shamed child instead of the mountain you had become.
Women saw it, girls, they saw you as that mountain. They wanted to climb that mountain. Oh, how little they knew the boy that lay behind it.
You were a sweet kid, smart as a whip, though not with life. In the halls of your daily existence, you were all elbows in a house of fine china held on tall, thin, poorly balanced display cases. Your ability to absorb information was astounding, yet without the knowledge of how to apply it in life, it simply saw you framed as a valuable asset in a trivia game. You were reckless, foolhardy, rebellious, though far from an outlaw. You didn’t use these traits to fight the system, or even to place yourself outside it, but dressed yourself in these accruements through fear that the world would never accept you anyway, punching the host before the invites are sent out, thus ensuring that you would never be invited to the party you were certain you would not be invited to anyway. You lived for pre-emptive strikes in the name of your own lack of self worth.
It was really not necessary. There was worth, so much, so easily seen by any who crossed your path. Yet you remained blind to it, unable to bear your reflection, to see your own bones. You told me once that you felt a person’s life didn’t mean anything unless it had adequate tragedy within it. You weren’t aware that the path you so often chose gave so much meaning to their lives of those who loved you, for all the wrong reasons, while only chipping away at your own. The testament to your worth was and always will be in the fact that we all still love you so much, forgive you all things, in spite of the pain you wrought on us all.
You will never not be loved, will never be forgotten. Every day we wear you like a badge which states, “You were here.” You made your mark.
I can think of no other way to celebrate your life than to live my own. Fully. Completely. With as little grief and as much joy as possible. I will carry you upon my back every day, through every moment. That is my commitment you. It is no heavier than carrying the loss of you.
There is a hole in this world which shall forever be in your shape.
We will continue to try and fill it the best we can.