Chasing the sun

June 2, 2005 at 6:57 am (Personal)

A good friend of a good friend (by extension, a friend) died Saturday
under uncertain circumstances. I’ve been in Florida the past few days
for the funeral. So young, so beautiful, so tragic. I don’t really know
what else to say. Here is a link to the obituary.
I can only add that whoever wrote this decided to change how she
spelled her name, and we questioned the wording of her chosen
profession, but that doesn’t really matter at this point.

Without getting too specific, let me just say that it was a
humbling experience. I thought I knew what pain was, what grief was.
And I do. But her poor father–a man I didn’t particularly care for
until Tuesday–he was so broken, so hurt. Behind the facade of strength
I could see the pain in his eyes. Just looking at him made me cry. I
realized that things could be a lot worse for me. It gave me a new
perspective on things, something else to think about, if even only for
a while. All those silly thoughts about reconciliation are finally
beginning to fade. I think.

This was my third cross country trip in just under 6 weeks. On the
way back this time I flew out of Dallas at dusk, and heading west I was
treated to what seemed to be a never ending sunset. It was beautiful,
very contemplative. If you ever do that, try really hard to get the
window seat. But don’t do it with me–I seem to be a magnet for crying
two-year-olds.

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2 Comments

  1. corthar said,

    you know, alyssa would be happy to know that through her passing you gained an insight into something, whatever it was. she would be glad. she was always wanting to learn about life, and her significance within it. on my plane ride back, i too tried to reason…tried to learn something and take something from this experience. i examined many possibilities, including making peace with a particular chapter of my own life, but ultimately i came out with something much more meaningful:my thoughts shifted from the grief and loss which was experienced by myself and a few others and instead focused on the immense amount of guilt felt by everyone else. i came to realize that guilt overshadowed their grief… what they should have done, should have said, how they didn’t tell her they loved her, how they disowned her. Then I thought about Alyssa, and how she continued to show love right up until the second she died, whether it was the text message she left in my phone that day, or whether it was the card she had just sent her mom…she died with absolutely no regrets and no guilt regarding those she loved. She truly was one person who lived each day like it was her last, never wanting for one day to miss the opportunity to say “i love you”. And so i find comfort in that, that she died having lived her life for those she loved, and knowing they knew that. And how sorry i feel for the rest of her family, who will go to their graves knowing they never knew their own daughter, knowing they never cared until it was too late. And so a lesson emerged- life is truly to short to focus negativity. Through all that mess at the funeral about “being saved”, I realized that she truly was the only person there who was- having saved herself from a death ridden with guilt and regret.

  2. JB said,

    I know she would, corthar. And for that reason it was worth every penny and every second I spent. And BTW, I rocked my presenteation today. We had to vote on who gave the best one, and I know that I got at least 10% of the vote–1 out of 10. (no, I didn’t vote for myself–I peeked at the person sitting next to me)

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