Life: Death

Today was a tough day. It’s been a crazy year to say the least and will only seem to get crazier for the at least the next few months.

This past weekend– We got a phone call from a private investigator in search of Alek. Apparently, his father was in a coma from complications with renal cancer. We later learned that he was diagnosed with stage IV Renal Cancer that metastasized to his lungs, liver, bones, and abdomen the year before. The kicker– this was news to us because he didn’t tell a single soul. Not his closest friends of 40 years. Not his son– with whom he had lunch with every other Sunday.

It’s a strange thing to witness life drifting from a body. When the last breath escapes– you can’t help but mirror and hold your breath as well. There’s always this painfully optimistic anticipation that when you drink in another sip of life — they will follow suit. And with every passing breath you take– your hopes dwindle and despair sinks deeper and deeper into your gut which inevitably releases the flood gate of emotions. It feels like drowning. The disappointment, the sadness, the confusion. The should haves, would haves, and what ifs. It’s a self-inflicted emotional waterboarding. Every drop represents a scenario that may have happened, failed to happen, or never was, and you find yourself suffocating on guilt and regret.

Lying in front of you is the shell of who you once knew. The physical representation of what once was. The body is motionless and the mind is calm — floating in eternal stillness. They are holistically at peace. What is concrete can seemingly release the anchor of our abstract ideations and allow us to surface from the wrath of our emotions. There is an ebb and flow of sorrow and shock. Deep grieving and then– the numbness takes over like a vacation from the tumult.

They say only time can heal the pain, but what they really mean is– you will think about it every day until your mind is exhausted from rehashing the past. Each day– granuals of memories will accumulate to build a sand castle of emotions.  Eventually– you come to peace with the situation. Eventually– you start to notice the wind carrying off pieces of your past… and eventually the tide rises and a wave of events roll in and the castle dissipates in the wash… Ever so often… the ocean will skim over where your castle once was– animating those granuals of sand in the forefront of your mind… fleeting emotions spark and dwindle…  and then… it all disintegrates in the wash just as quickly as they came to life.

Here we are, there he went, but the memories will forever remain.

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