What a complex journey life is. This week I lost one of my life’s companions. Ours was a karmically complicated relationship that stretched from infancy to just a few years ago when it stalled. However, it had stalled and restarted often as our paths wove in and out of each other’s lives.
There was always Gary. The thought that he’s gone leaves a hole that can’t be filled and me trying to deal with grief, sadness, frustration and anger.
After a sleepless night and a depleted day, I headed for the lake. It was one of those subdued sunsets, dark clouds blocking the gaudier colors allowing only hints of pinks to play across the blue water. Most of the snowbirds are gone leaving only a few locals walking to the lakeside soundtrack of Zumba dancers, tidbits of cell phone conversations, and wheels grinding through the curves of the dips and walls of the skateboard park.
A splash caught my attention as a dog swam toward a tossed stick, proudly carrying it back and rolling on it to make it his. As I watched the dog and the shifting colors and patterns in the water and clouds, a feeling of incredible joy swept over me.
I was alive, walking in the natural beauty of this moment in time. Capturing flashes of it with my camera. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the ability to feel joy and blessed to have so much of it in my life.
As this wave of joy crested, the heavy feeling in my chest began to return. Joy was something I seldom saw in Gary’s life. Somehow wounded early in life, he resisted the people who cared about him, apparently feeling unworthy of their love. I feel sad and angry because he missed so much of what was set before him. And then I have to wonder how much I, too, resist.
Gary died in his sleep a month before his 73rd birthday, alone by choice. I want to scream at him, shake him into waking up to what the world offered him. And, then I just have to remind myself to open up to and share the joy and love the world offers me.
Maybe that’s his last gift to me. I may not hear his voice again, but I will look at every sunset and feel joy for both of us.
Rest in peace, Gary.