Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Scratch on the Surface of Death

My friend Melissa died.  Her phone number is on my phone.  Her email is there too.  You can see her in the picture above.  Melissa is no longer alive.

I remember when my friends, a few of them, got married.  That was weird in a sense because we are just too young.  But it happens.  I remember when the first of friends got divorced.  Young, but statistics say it is supposed to happen.  I remember when friends had children.  Cool.  We are young, but cool... and that happens.

If any of us died when we were 19 or so from a stupid car accident, well then that would be tragic but understandable.  We are in our early thirties and we all survived that so what the hell is up with Melissa not existing as I know her anymore?  Melissa is the first friend to die and I am not quite ready or equipped to deal.

I have only had to deal with a couple of deaths on a personal level and I have not been successful in dealing with either of two significant and particular losses.  My grandfather died when I was in middle school and I have not fully processed his death.  I love him.  I miss him.  I am not over loosing him in my life and I am now in my 30's.  Just a couple of years ago my dog Agusta died.  Every, of only a few, dogs I have ever had are dead by now except Monte who we have and who is struggling to sleep near me as I type this.  But the first two dogs were from when I was four and then there was recently Agusta and I have still not fully dealt with his no longer being.  I love him.  I miss him.  We had a thing.

I have gone to other funerals.  I have cried for others leaving this world whom I appreciated but never completely bonded with.

I am not over my grandpa or Agusta.  I don't want to make it sound like they were the same.  They were very different in my life and those two holes in my life are very different and remain empty with a sense of longing and pain to fill the void.

But today, today I heard the news that my friend Melissa died.  Unexpected.  Young.  No longer here as we know her.

I have a large circle of friends.  I mention this because I think it is remarkable that this group of friends exists and it is a statistical anomaly.  It's a lot of people who are pretty darn close and have remained so over many years.  Within that group some bonds are closer than others.  Melissa is one of these friends who is well within this group.  She has been there forever it would seem.  She has been there while I have grown and with a hug we have talked and respected and listened and loved.  I won't play this up.  I won't pretend that I am one of the friends that had that closest of bonds that forms between all of us to some others within the group but I would have, and she would have, come to the aid of the other if ever called on.  And if not needed, we would have listened to the story that resulted, big or small.  And I am simply not ready to process this loss.

Today I got the call that Melissa was visiting family on the East Coast when she experienced a blood clot and died.  Matt was the one to call me.  They were just words.  I felt the concern... but they were still words.  Matt and Mitra hosted a Remembering gathering at their house tonight.  Tami, Enzo and I joined.  There were so many friends.  Such a crowd of good people.  Any human would be so lucky to have such caliber and mass to think upon their passing.  Melissa had that.  She has this.

And I am not ready to deal.  I will process in time.  Eventually Tami took Enzo home to bed but left me because she knew that I needed it.  I would get a ride home later.  Kissing her good buy I said thank you and that I would not be able to process this completely tonight but it will come up later and I will need Tami to talk with when that happens.  Tami said she knew that and kissed me.  Thanks Love.

I am just one of many good friends to Melissa.   Not even her super close friend but definitely a very good friend within this anomaly of friends circle.  And still, I think..... did I hug her enough?  Did I let her know she was cared for, loved, thought of, appreciated enough?  When she was at my son's birthday and I hugged her several times and talked to her and smiled and looked at her.... did I make it obvious to her that she was more than a simple mass moving through the Universe?

I know this is silly.  I know these are of those genre of thoughts that need to be countered.  I know there is nothing more I could do now or could have known then,  and I still have these thoughts.

Melissa, I miss you now.  I hope you felt loved when I hugged you.  I hope you felt more important than a rock whenever I saw you.  I hope I never ignored you and if I did I hope neither of us noticed.  I hope your existence was interesting and I am glad for your sake, and for ours, that you were here on earth.  With my love, I wish you goodness and give you my gratitude and appreciation for your existence.

To my grandpa..... I don't know that I will ever have the strength or mentality to get over you being here next to me.  I really miss hugging you.  It is because of you having to leave that I try to let Grandma and Uncle and Mom and Dad and Katrina and Tami and Enzo and Nina and Nino and my cousins and my family and my friends know that I love them.  When you have shown yourself in my dreams I have felt soooo good to be able to hug you again.  Thank you for those visits.  They mean so much to me.  Thank you for your love and your time with me in the waking world.  You deserve so many more words than I can offer you here.

To my Agusta.  I don't know how to describe the quick friendship and love that we shared but I feel awesome in that I have no doubt that it was mutual.  You were this little dog of wisdom and I so wish you could see my family now and that I could still snuggle with you.  Enzo would adore you and you would adore him.  I look forward to you visiting us in my dreams some day.  You had so much life before you came into mine but I thank you for sharing your last days with me.  I hope I was able to show you love and comfort and appreciation.  I hope it was obvious beyond doubt every day.

I don't know how we can live thinking about death.  I don't know how we can accept death of loved ones without wondering if we gave enough during life.  I don't know how I can give enough every day to those whom I love.

I just don't know.

I can't do it any better.  I don't do it enough.  I am just barely pulling off this life that I have.

There are others who matter and have left.  My Tia Soila and Tio Quate, for example.  It's a full enough world to deal with with out having to say good bye to any one.  I know death happens.  I am not great at dealing with this knowledge.

If I die any time, and you happen to care about me, just know that I do feel loved---- VERY much.  I do feel LUCKY to be here and it's been a superb existence.  Have no doubt that I have savored the hugs and the love and the time and the experiences during my existence.  My time interacting and being with you has been appreciated.  You need not doubt with me.

And I assure you, that if I have hugged you with warmth, if I have spoken to you with warmth, if I have alluded to warmth... well, I meant it.  You deserve all that I gave and more.  Thank you for all you gave and all you intended.

And for today, one of Melissa's days, I will have to be satisfied with that.  Soon, I will have to try and process that Melissa is gone and hope that I can feel satisfied that I did my part in letting her know through my hugs and conversations that she mattered and I cared.  I will also have to by satisfied that I will hug her no more in this tangible world.


  1. Randy, it is so hard to let go of someone who has had any kind of impact on one's life. My heart hurts for your loss, nephew! I am hoping peace will blanket you so you can process this loss. I wish I were closer so I could give one of those hugs to let you know that you matter in my own life. Suffice to say, you are very special to me, and I'm settling for a cyber hug.

  2. You put that all so honestly and you spoke beautifully for me at the very least but most likely for so many of us. I think that a common theme for this gang is 'Did I...?' I didn't even get as much time with Mel as the rest of you and I feel the hurt in the same realm as the pain of my two dogs and my grandmother. You don't have to try to justify to the world the difference between a dog and human...the pain is still the pain. And just in case I don't say it often enough.. I treasure you and Tami and Enzo and Monte and Agusta and the new kid and probably Maggy (even though I'm not a cat kinda kid) and not in any particular order. Thank you for sharing..

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss Randy. You and Tami and Enzo are in my thoughts and prayers. Wish I could be there to give all of you a hug.