Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel
We never did get around to it, did we? We didn’t form a Procrastinator’s Club. Oh well, when we meet again, sometime in the future, maybe we’ll finally get around to it then.
I miss you Brian. Although I hadn’t seen you in about a month, just knowing you’re gone is really hard to take. Honestly, I never thought I’d be this sad because of your passing. I knew I had a very warm spot for you, but I didn’t know how deep and warm it was. Now I know. And you’re gone. Bloody hell! Of all the times I’d love to talk to you about “stuff”, this is it! There’s so much we could talk about right now.
Like that book you read. The one that talks about the similarities between blood and chlorophyll. I never really got to hear all about it because we were interrupted so often when we chatted at the tea shop. To think, we got to know each other in the safe environment of Granville Island, where people stream in and out of lives and a vibrant community pulses. Remember how we would talk for hours after I had helped Mark and Deb? And then we’d stand by your car and talk for more hours. Remember how we shared how we felt, about our occasional bouts of depression and occasional feelings of anxiety? Remember that dark period I went through, and remember how you and I talked about what you were going through too? We supported each other. I managed to come out of that dark time, and you too, although there were times when it wasn’t so successful, especially after you were diagnosed with Kennedy’s disease.
Remember how Neil and I went to the hospital that time and showed you the video? “I don’t give a shit. I just don’t give a shit.” You’re on record, with your acerbic humour. I never did burn a DVD of that, nor of the footage we took in the snow that fun night. Who was it we met in the parking lot of your apartment. He helped you up the stairs once. I helped you through the snow to your door. You were having trouble walking by that point. But, I procrastinated burning that video to DVD, and you never saw the final product. I didn’t use the footage of you, it didn’t work out that way. But I have it. Maybe I can use it one day in something else. Or maybe we’ll show it at the celebration of your life. I don’t know. Would you want that?
So you’re gone, and great big tears well up and slide down my cheeks. It’s making it hard to type this. I didn’t know you very, very intimately, but I knew you well and deeply. I felt a kinship with you that I can’t explain. Perhaps it was because of the time we shared when we were struggling, perhaps it was something else, something that transcends explanation and exists outside of this realm of understanding. What I do know, though, is that I miss you terribly. I’m miffed that you left, yet glad that you left us now, with such wonderful memories, and that you left in the condition that you did. You could have carried on, slowly down a path of gradual deterioration, your disease every so slowly taking you down with it. But you left with style, in that dramatic flourish that only an artist and a poet could carry-off. And so, because of this, my last memory of you is when Neil and I last saw you at the tea shop, and you were in pain, and I gave you a massage as best I could through your jacket and sweater while you sat in your chair, that scooter. You said it felt good, that you felt better, and I surely hope it did. And now I wish I could have done more, that I had seen you more recently, that I had more time to talk and laugh and share thoughts and listen to your wisdom, and massage your pain away.
I can guarantee that there are many, many people aching with loss right now. Many will be struggling to reason it away, or like me, thinking and remembering all the good times we had with you. You were pretty good at sarcasm, although I think you should know that Marisa usually out-sarcasmed you! If you were here right now, you’d probably tell me that you let her. Okay, whatever you say, Brian. You heard that a lot, didn’t you? “Whatever you say, Brian.” Patty said that a lot to you too.
Remember our writing contests? Whatever came of them? You won, didn’t you? You were a good writer. You had a great imagination and a beautiful flow with words. Did you ever write your memoirs? Or did you keep putting that off? You should have written your memoirs, you had an interesting life.
I’m really happy we have two of your photographs. You must have really liked that particular photo! I think one of them you gave to me at Christmas one year, and the other you gave to Neil and I for a wedding present. You’re on the list of people to receive a thank you card, but I haven’t gotten around to finishing them yet. I’ll keep you on the list though, and I’ll find some other way to thank you for the photograph. I remember the story that goes with it, and I’ve got the story you wrote on the first one attached to the back of the frame. I never will lose that now. It means too much to me. And I’m going to put them side by side on the wall. Two identical photos, different sizes, given at different occasions. And the fridge magnets, I’m going to frame them. I don’t want them to get wrecked. I never did read the book though. Did I ever return it?
I’m thinking about how many people feel an individual sense of loss right now, and what that collective loss might be. Does it keep you here with us as you transition to the other side? Is there another side? What kind of energy is there and what happens when we die? Does it simply stop? Do all the electrons and neurons and all that stuff that’s really matter, but we can’t see, go somewhere? Does this energy cease to exist, or does it move on? I wish you were here right now so we could talk about this. I loved our philosophical discussions. It was fuel for my soul. I guess I’ll just have to wait until another time. I hope there will be another time.
What I do know is that in the here and now, your passing has reinforced the importance of living a good life and making sure you do things with as much integrity as possible. It’s so easy to dismiss irritating occurrences, and to isolate ourselves and simply not deal with difficult people or situations. Ultimately, the important things in life are to be one with the world. And I know you were working on that. It was your mission. You wanted peace in yourself, harmony with others, and good relationships were paramount. You loved your kids, you had a warm heart and treated everyone with respect and dignity. You were respected by a large group of people, and always offered encouragement and time to many, many people and artists.
Thank you Brian, for touching our lives. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and gentle soul with me, with us, with so many, many people.
I miss you. And love you.