By Putting One Foot In Front Of The Other

“Ok. Turn, turn, a little more… Now put your hands in your pockets. Yep. Now look back at me. Yep. Tilt your head a little more. No, the other way. Yep. A little more.. Good. Now hold it…”


*CLICK*

It’s the picture of a young man, full of promise. He’s posed, a little cheeky, a little funny. His hockey hair standing out against the summery green in the backdrop. I have the impression that as soon as the photo was taken he started laughing at himself and anyone there.

It’s the picture of a young man ready to begin the next stage. Ready to see what the Next Act brings. He’s looking forward to his senior year of High School. To the new lacrosse and hockey seasons. To college.

He died last weekend while visiting some friends. And we are all broken.

He leaves behind many. Among them our son, now bereft in the loss. Our community now mourns, and weeps for the family. We cling to our children, fearing that it could have been them. We text them, we call them, we talk to them. We stare into their eyes, hoping desperately to see proof of the strength it’ll take to make them all right. We ask them how they are, if they want to talk, if they have any questions. Questions we know we may not be able to answer.

“How do I get over this?”

What’s the answer? I ask because I don’t know. The answer I’m tempted to give is You won’t fully get over this. It’s part of you now. The pain will fade, and it’ll become a scar. Your life will change, maybe by just a little, but it will change. Some of that change will be bitter, but some of it will be in celebration of a friend dearly missed.

You’ll turn whenever you hear his name. You’ll cheer for his teams. And when one of his favorite teams wins the Stanley Cup, you’ll all raise your hands, wherever you are, and offer him a high five. You’ll probably cheer for athletes wearing his jersey number. You’ll think of him when you eat his favorite food and listen to his favorite music. When you find yourself together with others who are his friends, he’ll come up. And sometimes that will be painful. Eventually stories of him will make you smile.

You may call his mom on Mother’s Day. You may wish him a Happy Birthday every year. And you’ll be sad on the anniversary of his death. But the sharpest pain will fade. I promise.

“Ok. Turn, turn, a little more… Now put your hands in your pockets. Yep. Now look back at me. Yep. Tilt your head a little more. No, the other way. Yep. A little more.. Good. Now hold it…”


*CLICK*

Only now it’s a picture of a young man, looking back at us. And having set down his burdens, as well as his hopes and dreams, has moved on and left an empty space in the hearts and lives of those who held him dear.

And for him, to honor him, you’ll each pick up pieces of his hopes and dreams and you’ll carry them across the finish line of this very, very long race.

Devin, you’ll be missed.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s