Two Years of Missing

Sometimes, when one person is absent,
the whole world seems depopulated.”

Allphonse de Lamartine

It’s been two years today since we lost my great nephew Kaelan. I still feel like a part of me is in denial and he will show up and life will go on. It’s weird….because so much of me also realizes the loss of him. The world is definitely different. In some ways more colorful, as you realize the frailty of life and the need to celebrate it big, but in other  ways more colorless, without the presence of his light.

A friend of his, a beautiful 20-year old young woman named Christina, was stabbed on Thursday night and died s a result of her injuries. I saw a picture of the two of them on Facebook today, taken some years back, with Nic, Christina’s boyfriend and Kaelan’s close friend. How much sadness, where there was such laughter and life.

I have a difficult time with “celebrating” the day of his death. Oh, I know that celebration is the wrong word…most would say commemorate. But truly that is my least favorite day of his life. Honestly I wish I could forget.

I’d rather remember his date of birth, the date God gave us him. July 12, a week before my birthday. I’d rather remember the times he greeted me with a big bear hug…I can still feel them sometimes. I’d rather remember when we were running in the Electric Run in Charlotte and he dragged this guy over to me wearing what he called a horse head. It was a unicorn mask, and that was what he wanted for his birthday. Yes, Aunt Kim found one for him (as he knew I would)…..and he loved it. 

I’d rather remember the time he crewed with Joanie and Stuart at BalloonFest, and they all cracked me up every time I saw them. Or when he crewed with me at Victory Junction, and I saw his compassion for the sweet special needs kids (some older  than him.)

I heard someone say that losing someone is like an amputation, and sometimes it feels like that. Something’s not the way it should be….there is phantom pain.

I hurt for the family that is grieving their sweet daughter now…..and his friend Nic who has lost two of the most important people in his life. Two that he has loved. I’m not one who thinks this was all in God’s time, though I know it was no surprise to God. I think God grieves with us. The ripples of these losses of life are great….I trust there is a purpose in it all and in its timing.

Our lesson? While most would say to tell everyone you love them at every opportunity, I’d instead say “Be kind.” Cherish those you love and consider the gift they are. Treat them well. Words are good, too….but actions mean so much more. Life is way too short….but we should work to make it wonderful. Even with pain. Love the world…everyone you can. Love and respect yourself. Get help if you need it. People do care. They may even be missing you now. That’s probably even worse than death….missing the ones who are here. Don’t live alone in a cave of your own making. Reach out….and live.

“Your absence has gone through me,
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do stitched with its color.”

                                           .-W.S. Merwin

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