A note to a friend.

“Since death alone is certain, and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?” -Stephen Batchelor (inspired from a Buddhist meditation)

In death, you are not lost. Already, in life, you were a part of me. In death, you have become etched into my heart. Every action I take, I hold it with your memory. It spurs me to take action, to move, to shake fear from my bones. Grief is never complete, rather transformed. Your death is like my companion, reminding me that mine too shall come. This body is a temporary miracle that is all too easy to take for granted. Impermanent. Fragile. The cells inside my body continually working behind the scenes cannot be in harmony forever. I will get sick. I will get injured. I will die. What are the million adventures that you would have loved to complete? What are the mundane tasks you wish you could appreciate? Would you take comfort in pain, anxiety, and heartbreak? Would you bask in joy and happiness?

In death, you are not lost. You have become the arrow in my compass. Reminding me to always be aware of the path that I take. To appreciate every breath, every footstep, every moment. To embrace discomfort because it is a discomfort that I can only feel in the moment. It is the discomfort and the sorrows that make life more alive. Feeling the tingling in my toes, I’m reminded to stand up, to move, to keep walking.

With your death, I’m pushed to spread joy. When I close my eyes, I can conjure the joy of your smile and your emphatic yells. I want to remind the world of that joy. I want to help them find it and hold it with tenderness. Knowing with sorrow that it is fleeting and reminding them to come back to it again and again. I’m learning to hold sorrow and joy together.

I sit with your memory, not just on the anniversary of your death, but in every moment. In the eyes of your loved ones, I see you there. Deeply etched into their hearts. Reminding them to keep breathing. Keep loving. Keep moving. This gift that you continue to give us any time that we are willing to accept it.

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