Catching Up Amidst a Goodbye
To say I’m mourning or grieving the recent loss of a school classmate would, in my mind, do a disservice to those who are deeply mourning the loss of a husband, father, son, and dear friend. What I am is sad. Sad he could not conquer his inner wars. Sad he left behind a wife and two young children. Sad to learn he truly was a man who gave so much, yet could not find what he needed in the deepest parts of his soul.
Depression – whatever genesis it takes – is a horrible, terrible beast.
I was talking with a couple of former classmates who had made their way from good-sized distances when the one asked the other, “Are you happy? That seems to be an important question to be asking right now.”
And he was, and she was, and I was—even as we were sad about what had brought us together, sad about the things you just don’t talk about with people you haven’t seen in 20+ years. We all have our scars though. At least I believe we do. Even though we try to hide them and distract ourselves from them more than we try to live with and learn from them.
But. One does not travel school hallways all the way from kindergarten through grade 12 in a small town without feeling the much-too-soon loss of one you spent, however indirectly, that much time with. We all still have our memories of shared classes and recesses and lunch breaks and locker-side chatter.
And now ... now we’ve all travelled our respective pathways these past years, we (as many as were able) came together to say goodbye. Perhaps we also came to see, at last, one another as simply people. People we grew up with. People who now have families of their own, who have moved and come back or stayed close by, who are no longer seen behind labels of “cool” or “not popular” or whatever else we may have thought we’d be seen as forever – good or bad.
But most of all, we came to realize – as we do more and more with each passing year, I’m sure – how little is actually certain and how we need to love and appreciate those around us. To let them know it. To treasure however many moments we have had and do have and hope to have together.