Today I heard about the passing of a friend. I’ve known him since I was 14. We were the same age. His mother even tried to set us up, in vain. But over the years we became friends. The kind of friends that wave and say hello and do a quick catch up when they see each other. The ones that don’t really stay in touch beyond that. But we were always nice to one another. Cordial. Polite. And now he’s just gone. A victim of senseless and confusing violence. 16 years of just knowing someone…gone.
The sad truth is that the longer I live, the more I will see this happen. We’re all going to go, and if I’m blessed with a long lifespan, I’m going to have to say goodbye to a lot more people. And those who are even closer to me than he was. And yet, I want to raise my fist and shout to the Universe that this is all so very unfair. I wanted to shout that I wasn’t finished. He was a passing acquaintance to me. But he had so many deeper relationships. He suffered from mental illness, but he had a good heart and he tried hard to show it. But he wasn’t finished. He had plans for the future. I know because he told me a few of them. In fact, he would tell anyone he met about his plans for the future. Some of them were grandiose and I was never sure how he was going to accomplish it all, but he was working towards those goals. He wasn’t finished.
And neither am I.
I have so many goals that I want to meet. So many stories that are yet to be written. So many chapters of my own life to be filled in. There’s no telling how much time we have, and then one day, we are gone. The book of our lives is shut closed. We are sometimes abruptly cut off, forever dangling on the edge of a cliff hanger, our lives resting on the tip of a comma, as though we were just about to finish the sentence before our entire system crashed and everything was brought to a screeching halt.
There are so many things that I would love to experience before it is my time to go. And although I say I am not finished now, will there ever really be a time when I think “Okay, I’m ready to go?” Will there ever be a time when I feel as though I have done everything, or will this anxiety always lurk just behind the shadows, telling me that I am not done. I’m not ready to go?
I know I’m rambling, but this death has thrown me for a bit of a loop. It was just so unexpected and so final. I know that I have to take advantage of this time that I have. I know that I have to write because that is the calling of my soul. I know I have to love because that is the food for my soul. And everyday, I have to take one more step outside of my comfort zone. I feel as though the more I do that, the more ready I might be when the time comes. No one escapes death. No one cheats it. But maybe I can try to prepare for it.
I want to say something witty and profound, but I’ve got nothing. I want to say something poetic and romantic, but I’m drawing a blank. But every time I close my eyes, I’m faced with the fear that the world won’t be the same when I open them again. I’m afraid of that ultimate end. I’m afraid that I will have lived all this for no reason. That I will have tried to live and love and the only thing remaining will be the feelings of loss and sadness that I leave my loved ones with. I hope that I’ll have lots of loved ones. But what if I’ve lived without making an impact? Now, I understand why Achilles wanted to be a hero. That’s the only way to live forever….