It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. A close friend of mine died about a month ago. The cause of death is unknown–or at least not released to the public. I have yet to talk to his parents about it. My laryngitis has acted as a convenient buffer for me as I develop the nerve.
I recently asked a new friend of mine if it’s possible to kill a person with love? I remember reading once something about that–that if a person doesn’t understand real love and is caught in its path before they are ready to receive it, that it can kill them.
My friend died on the 22nd of October, which was the day I posted the blog, Riding on Fumes of Faith. I had written that post because I was feeling this strong dissonance within me until I finally heard the words within me speaking, “Riding on the Fumes of Faith,” and felt impressed to write that post. At the time, it was nothing more than an idea for a post. But now, as I begin to look back and connect the dots–nearly three weeks since I learned of his passing–I recognize how synchronistic the world we all reside within is.
As you can imagine, every day since I learned of my friend’s passing, I’ve kicked myself that I didn’t pick up the phone and call to check on him. He was the one riding on the fumes of faith after all.
He had called me a few days before this on October 17th leaving a voicemail asking me about God and telling me that he didn’t know where to go or what to do. You see, he’d just been released from a halfway house after serving 9 months in jail. He had suffered with alcoholism for most of his adult life. When it came to coping, alcohol was the only way he knew how.
When he first contacted me last July, he had asked me to help him with his addiction. As I began to help him, he told me that it felt like a “Divine Intervention.” His passing has been my own spiritual experience making me believe more than ever that something lies on the other side of death.
He and I were estranged when he passed. I’d withdrawn from our relationship in August. The writing was already on the wall that he planned to return to drinking and absent an alternate solution, I bid my farewell.
But, it doesn’t make it any easier. I wanted to help him. I wanted him to know love and feel love and freedom; I wanted him to get a second shot at life. It’s why I’d urged him to face the warrants that had been out for his arrest from previous offenses so that he could stop hiding out in his house and finally live.
And I suppose this is what I’m struggling with the most now. I cannot see how far my love stretches. Does it reach the other side? I’ve also been plagued by doubting thoughts such as, “maybe I shouldn’t continue to blog?” and “maybe I’m not as developed as I once thought–I couldn’t save him.”
Right now, all I can feel is what his leaving has impressed upon my life and that is that I feel this deep sense of finality. When something becomes final, there are no more edits or revisions we can do. How the story ended is in ink. The last thing I said to him was, “Sometimes we try so hard to make something work and it just doesn’t work. I can’t make you do what you don’t want to do. I can’t fix you or change you either. I can only love you and accept your choices and sometimes, accepting a choice means making my own choice. I made the choice to walk away because I don’t want to be a participant in your self-destruction. But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard for me, because it is. It’s hard to watch you be confused and frustrated and not understand. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you don’t know love and you are fighting to get what isn’t love and pushing away what is love. It’s hard to come to terms with the truth that the only way you’ll ever know love; the only shot you’ve got at knowing love is for me to put one foot in front of the other and move farther and farther way. It’s not easy to love, but it’s right. And my hope is, one day, you will understand and on that day, you’ll become what I become to you.”
I keep re-reading old texts and emails he and I shared over and over, trying to come to terms with how greatly this experience has changed me. Only after we give away love can we understand it and feel the overwhelming presence of it in our own lives.
My friend was a musician. He once wrote a song for me called, Goodbye, Goodbye Kallie Blake. (In my younger years, I was a model with the stage name, Kallie Blake). I used to call him the Wanderer. He once asked me what my favorite word was and I told him, wander. He asked me why and I told him, ‘because only when we wander can we find what we’re looking for.” I told him that he was a wanderer now and that in time he’d find what he was looking for and once he did, his whole life would change.
As Christmas approaches, I’m attempting to step out of the shock of this stupor so that I can enjoy the beautiful lights, music and spirit of the season, yet when I consider the truth that the very last day the Wanderer was home before all this began was on Christmas, it’s difficult. His goodbye to me happened twenty years ago when we were just kids, far too young to know what love was, and he got a second shot. Knowing love, absent a second shot, I’m the one who struggles to say Goodbye, Goodbye, Wanderer. And I guess today’s post is my first attempt at coming to terms with it.