Wednesday, August 10, 2005
My friend Warren died about two weeks ago, and I've been thinking a lot about death ever since. There's this one image of Warren I can't get out of my head. I'm standing at Union Station in Hartford, patiently waiting. Excitement lingers, I haven't seen Warren in over a month. The bus pulls in and Warren gets off and runs over to me. He drops his bag and gives me this enormous bear hug and beams at me. Warren and I were two completely different people, I'm a white suburban middle class shy guy and Warren was a Caribbean-American outspoken dude from Brooklyn. But we had this bond that defied any sort of cultural identity. I'll miss him a lot, but I'll always remember his great hugs and the long talks till morning.Death is an inevitable part of life; it's something we've all got to deal with eventually. There's a quote from Star Trek II that I often think about when death occurs. The quote is "how we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life" and it is pertinent to many situations. Many of my friends are dealing with death for the first time. It takes some time to figure out that the person is really gone, that you will never see them again. Death makes us stronger, it allows us to change and grow and succeed. If a person is able to confront death and overcome it, that person can do just about anything.Yesterday, I had a lot of time to think on my way home from visiting my girlfriend. I'm a lot of things, shy, intellectual, bookish, semi-athletic, but it had never occurred to me that there's a part of me that's a natural survivor. I watched as my mom fell apart when my dad died and I kept going, never telling her how hurt I was or becoming morose. I knew then that even if things are at their worst I need to keep a brave face and move forward. Since then I've been through a lot of death and I've been upset by it, but I've also understood that I am capable of rebounding and moving on. Loss is hard, but falling apart and giving up is even harder.Speaking of which, Dad's death is the only one that lingers over me. I think it's natural for me to want my dad around, for him to be proud of what I have done with my life. The point is though that I have moved on, that I've become something important. The greatest testament to my father is that despite all his worry and fears, I'm a good person with an excellent life. I know how happy that would have made him.
Posted by Brett E. Lassoff at 8:48 PM