formative: 2006

The air was heavy with the body heat mounting for a thousand plus in attendance. Everyone sitting on top of each other to get a glimpse of the glimmering faces waiting for their brief moment to float across the stage. The floor of the athletic center looked like a sea of green and gold as the shimmering cap and gowns effortlessly flowed down the backs of shoulders that also carried with them the hopes and dreams of each family. Many clans celebrated vicariously, personalizing and internalizing the accomplishment. Many reflected on their day and their moment way back when. This was graduation day, June of 2006.

We distinctly remember this moment all too well.

All too painful and all too real; we gathered eight months later at the unofficial junior class parking lot across the street from school for a candlelight vigil.

No words. No emotions. Just a lot of searching.

It was two hours before the wake to be had for friends and family. But there was no way that we could be ready. The permanence of death was a familiar friend but an all too real reminder. How do you even begin to process? Where do you start?

One hour to go and my throat clamped down as I felt my stomach sink. Our late night musings – blowing clouds and enjoying the fall breeze – dreams and goals – future and plans. All gone. Nothing

I’m sitting here journaling my life away 12 years later and I found myself searching and recollecting those moments on that cold February night back in 2007.

Death has a strange way with people. It was my third funeral in the span of six months following that graduation day and I learned the hard way that death has a habit of putting life into perspective. Funerals become a periodic crash course in legacy. What did you live for? Who did you live for? How will you be remembered?

How we live our life matters. Character matters. Who and how we love matters. Death teaches us that there’s nothing else.

I can’t sit here and write that this is how I lived my life.

But I know that the pain of that lesson remains with me.

Formative:: How do you define and qualify what matters with life?

anyways. here we go.

Hey buddy. We all miss you a lot – this one was so hard to write because I’ve never really talked about this and secretly I didn’t want to talk about it for a while because I felt guilty. What if I talked about it and started to process it? What if I move on? What if I forget?

You’ll understand if I move on a little right?

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