A much-loved friend is coping with the unimaginable horror of saying goodbye to her 23 year old son this week, which provides very necessary perspective to my own life.
I would lose all faith in God except that I never believed he was some Santa Claus in the sky waiting to give us things we ask for and who keeps us safe if we behave ourselves and keep to the script. I suppose that's what people who do not believe imagine that those of faith think, which makes the scoffing entirely understandable.
How do you tell someone things will be all right when you have no grounds whatsoever for believing that to be true? Nothing is ever entirely all right, not ever, not in this sea of humanity where fate is often cruel and people do both terrible and wonderful things to one another. I only know that if there are answers, I do not have them and therefore I have to simply muddle along like everyone else, hoping to make sense out of the things I can see and touch. The magic, I suppose, comes from the the inexplicable within me, whatever place that is that generates my thoughts and dreams. Soul or subconscious, it is the source of my best and worst moments and I suppose for all of us, it is what makes us each unique. I choose to believe that is the creation of the Divine, and that it is both the place where the best things and the worst things we do spring from,which is what makes God such a mystery.
I want answers, but I know I'll not get them. and so I just stand in the shower and scream at the walls and hope a little bit of the grief and horror of witnessing my friends loss from afar swirl down the drain along with my tears and the last of the suds from the shampoo.
The cliche comes easily. Far from trite, it bristles with truth: Life is short.
I watched Alyx grow up from afar, through pictures and stories his mom shared in a small group of mothers I met when I was still pregnant with my son, over a decade ago. We were - and are - a tight little band and we have always been there for one another. We've shared things with each other that even our partners and our families don't know. We've been there for one another through medical crises, marriages, breakups, job successes and job losses, births, lost pregnancies, family drama. When my brother died some of the most comforting words came from these friends, along with a box stuffed full of love and concern. But this - this is the worst imaginable thing ever to happen to one of our own. We've all lost someone who we held a small part of in our hearts and we're struggling to know what best to do to give our friend some measure of comfort, how to be there for her in the days, weeks, months, years to come and how to say the right things (or not say the wrong things, there's always that).
Hold your loved ones tight my friends. They are not yours, they never were, and the profound love you feel for them is no barrier against what life may bring. Every single day - EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. - you spend with those you love is a fucking GIFT. Please don't waste it. Resolve, if you haven't already, to create value in those moments with your children, your family, your partners, your friends.
Goodbye sweet Alyx. You are one of the best that ever was and you are going to be deeply missed by many.