December 25, 2014

My Angel,

I think that I write better half cracked on eggnog. It’s a bit early for that but I appear to be on my third coffee and Bailey’s and it’s not even Sunday. A gaggle of beautiful girls, all legs and tears , just left my house. When they come around, I feel you close. I love being one of them. We gathered around our tree and spent precious time talking about boys, inspiring dreams and distant lands.   I could almost hear your laughter with shared misadventures and pending interventions. It reminds me of the last conversation that we had, sitting around two cups of coffee, beneath a warm, April sun. We shared so many stories that day. Not a word was left unsaid and the last three words we shared were…”I love you”. How thankful I am for our last embrace and for three, little words.

I love your friends. They are my friends now.

I read somewhere that we must strive to lead a robust life but if we have to die, then it needs to be even more spectacular than our life once lived. You lived your magnificent life, all eyelashes and twirling of your glorious hair. Your laughter was unobstructed and your opinions were not withheld. Your passion and commitment was undeniable. It is not about what we have gathered, as in the end it does not matter. What matters is how well we lived and the impact made upon some hearts. What matters is the richness of our story and if we made the world just a little bit better.

You seemed to know it was your time in the way that you gathered friends, tied most of your ends and said your farewells.

However, did you have to exit so swiftly and with such flamboyance?

For the last nineteen years, Christmas and your birthday has been wrapped into one, extraordinarily beautiful present. I cried then and I still cry on this very day. But with tears, we know that we are still here and still attached to life. Is it not better to shed a million tears from the fracture of a beating heart then never to weep and feel nothing at all? It is said that, “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses our own understanding. And that the hand, though heavy and hard is guided by the tender hand of the unseen. And that the cup he may bring, has been fashioned by clay moistened by his own, sacred tears.” -Kahlil Gibran

In the land of the living, it is difficult to get one’s head wrapped around such philosophy when the heart still aches. But exiting this life, precisely upon my mother’s birthday just does not feel like an unfortunate coincidence. In those moments upon the road, I could almost see her greet you with wide, open arms. It is the one fact, that gave me solace before I became unravelled. You caused quite a ruckus by the way. With rain, like tears shed from all whom have departed before you and a bellowing, earth shattering quake, it was an Easter that I will never forget.

You are our Angel now.

You visited a friend of mine whom before those weeks, I had never, ever met. We are separated by 10,000 km of sea. “Tami”, she said. “Does the name Eddie mean anything to you”? Once again, the blood drained from my face. “Yes, quite significantly”, I said. Filled with visions of you, he had not entered my mind in these days. “I’m not sure I can tell you this”, she stammered and stuttered. “For the first time in my life, I saw my sister, when we were meditating upon the beach.  Sydney also came to me and asked me to give you a message. I told her that I could not. Sydney said, ‘Tell my mom I love her’.   I told her that I was not able. That I was not strong enough”.   She said to me, like all that could only be you, “Your daughter did not give up”. Finally, she told me that you said to her…”Just say Eddie. She’ll know that this is real”. Once I closed my mouth again, I told her the story of how you came into the world, due precisely on Christmas Day. Your teachers would not be surprised to hear, you were always, just a little bit late.

You were there again when a car spun through the air and your friend walked away unharmed. You were there in the dark of night when his eyes, wide awake, would not blink for fear of losing you again. I felt your warmth upon my chest and your embrace around my neck when you came with gratitude for taking good care of your beloved, black pony. You are there with all of us as we struggle through darkness but delight in the dawn of each new day.

There are times in our lives when our hearts can be blown apart but if we let the pieces attach where they please, we just might find that we welcome the changes. What would an angel be if she didn’t also watch over our spiritual growth? All of us feel love so much more deeply. We are not afraid to verbalize our feelings. We’ve become more compassionate, particularly for others experiencing great heartache and loss. We are softer, kinder and more gentle, particularly for others whom have less than us. We’ve become intolerant of that which does not serve us or is a barrier to peace. We cry more but seem to laugh with disregard for how loudly we might echo within a room. We hug more and seem to dream more vividly. We have become a passionate family that sees you clearly within the faces, tears and laughter of each other.

My Angel,  I told your incredible brother that death brings gifts too. Your death brought us insight and a world of love. It is love that got us through. We will never be the same but somehow we are all made more beautiful and closer to you. When I think of beauty, the vision of your face rests gently upon my eyes.

“And a poet said, speak to us of beauty.

The tired and weary say that beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks within our spirit. The restless say that we have heard her shouting among the mountains. The toilers and the wayfarers say we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset. Beauty is not a need, but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth. Beauty is a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted. It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are the life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” (I love Kahlil)

This Christmas, this poem came to us from an old friend. Once again, I felt a little shiver and just a bit more peace.

We’ve asked an angel in heaven

in a special Christmas prayer

to protect you as you’re sleeping

and to tend you with great care

For we felt such pain in heartache

when you left us far behind

and throughout the celebrations

you’ll be very much in mind

And although our tears are falling

peace and solace will be found

when we find a pure white feather

that has drifted to the ground

Because then we’ll know for certain

by this sign from up above

that an angel’s wings surround you

with their everlasting love

Tonight, within my reflections, I’m lost within your portrait and the light that seems to surround you.  I gaze upon the tree at the last object you ever made. A clear glass ball hangs softly upon one bough. Carefully placed within the centre, could only be one thing. Pure white feathers capturing the light.

You are the light in the haze around the moon. You are the rainbow over the mountain. You are the horses galloping in the distant field. You are whispers in the wind.

I still can’t believe this is our story.  We have had to accept this heartache, yet still choose to embrace the adventure that has become this wild, unpredictable and beautiful life.  Just like you.

I love you,