For Erik

So, for those friends who are new to my journal, I would like to give a little background on this. You may think I’m crazy. That’s ok. No offense, but it’s not really about what you think. This is a new “Truth” in my life; in a lot of lives which Erik touched. And, yearly, this has been my tribute to him; and to the lessons I’ve learned since his passing.

Zero Year – First Impressions (Or “He Speaks Through Song”)
Write, she says. Write to me. Write to him. It’s just that the words can’t seem to come out quick enough or “right” enough.
He communicates to you through song. That was a way you connected. He likes to hear you sing. He sings with you, you know.
I got in the truck this morning, knowing what you wanted me to put into the CD player. I told you I couldn’t. I knew things were too raw after reading her journal; after reading all the journals. I knew it was too raw when I realized everyone else seemed to remember what Monday marked – yet, whether conveniently or what have you, I forgot. How could I forget? How can I continue to walk around in this dream, offering what comfort I have, but don’t really feel?
“We never said our love was evergreen,
or as unchanging as the sea –
but if you can still remember
stop and think of me . . .

Think of all the things we've shared and seen –
don't think about the things which might have been . . .

Think of me, think of me waking,
silent and resigned.
Imagine me, trying too hard to put you from my mind.
Recall those days look back on all those times,
think of the things we'll never do –
there will never be a day, when I won't think of you.”
I tried to sing; tears came unbidden and stole my words. It’s not fair; it’s too much to ask of me. I am not strong. I never really have been…
I've decided, decided . . .
Past the point of no return –
no going back now:
our passion-play has now, at last, begun . . .
Past all thought of right or wrong –
one final question:
how long should we two wait, before we're one . . .?
When will the blood begin to race
the sleeping bud burst into bloom?
When will the flames, at last, consume us . . .?
I have too much to do and time is running out. I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like being rushed through this. I. Need. More. Time.
“How does the dark
Live in my heart
How can the oceans hold my tears
What will I find
What’s left behind
Call to me baby, I will hear
Sweetly, sweetly sing and I will follow you
Mother shelters child, its all I live to do
Dream of the soul
That won’t forget you
Hear as I sing my lullaby”
It’s as though the way, the words are almost clear to me; but still just beyond my grasp. Write to him. I just don’t have the words anymore.
I told her last night that I felt I was wearing myself down. That for every effort I put forward, put out, it takes another part of me away. Ok… I didn’t say it quite like that; but I was trying to be careful of my words. I don’t know that I have been careful with my words enough; and I fear hurting her; hurting someone else with my careless words. I just want to be able to share what’s really in my heart and mind; but, I have some pretty dark thoughts right now and I’m not sure who can handle them and who can’t.
What I really wanted to tell her was the more I give; the more it’s taking from me. So much so that I can feel my body breaking down. Death has never really scared me; fading away however, is a terrifying thought. Leaving people behind to deal; that scares me. I know, in truth and in the end, it’s not really my choice. What will be will be.
Love. I have to write about love. I don’t mean that passionate love between two people; between “lovers.” And it’s not quite the same as the love of a Mother for a Child. It’s more… Universal. I feel his love. I am his love. I can feel it. It hurts in its intensity and I haven’t figured out quite how to express it; Share it? All I know is that I need to; it’s not something to be hoarded.
Seething shadows breathing lies . . .
You can fool any friend who ever knew you!
Leering satyrs, peering eyes . . .
Run and hide – but a face will still pursue you!”
I am putting on such a good “face.” I smile and joke and chat with people around me at work. I try to be strength and guidance, peace and calm to my friends. And inside, I hurt so damn bad.
I keep coming back to the “I can’t get angry about Erik’s death” and I can’t. It’s not fair, sure, but these things do happen. I don’t LIKE that it happened, but there it is. But, I can no longer say I don’t get mad. I do. I get mad at myself for not having pressed him more about his health; heck, I get mad at him for not asking for help, not questioning things more; for leaving us; for leaving me with this burden I think was meant for him, which I don’t feel I’m ready to carry just yet. And, I know some people wouldn’t understand: “How can you be mad at HIM?? This wasn’t his fault; he was a victim of circumstance!” And… I’m sorry. I’m sorry for feeling like it, but it won’t change how I feel. And, of course, that makes me mad at myself again; that I can’t get over the fact that I have to do a job I was not yet meant to do.
And I do meant “yet.” I think this burden would have eventually fallen to me. I think it eventually falls to a lot of us, if not all of us. Some don’t see it yet; won’t see it or believe it until “whatever” is standing right in front of us. But, Erik, you were supposed to be my guide HERE; on the mortal plane. Learning to have to communicate via other means just makes this job so much harder than it should ever be.
It just hurts so bad today. It’s “drive your car off the damn bridge” hurts so bad. No… I’m not going to drive my car off the damn bridge. I’m stupid; but I’m not a complete moron. Nor am I that selfish. I do have this burden. I do have work to do. And I’ve got too much integrity and honor NOT to do it – to seek the easy way out.
That’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Part of me is angry because you “got the easy way out.” But that’s the selfish part of me; that’s the part that isn’t willing to accept the sacrifice. I can’t lie – the little devil which sits and whispers the “bad things” into my ear won’t shut up about it; but at the same time, I know better. I really do. You really are my Guide now. I can’t deny feeling your arms around my shoulders when things are particularly rough. I can’t deny putting in a particular CD on my way home because it’s what you want to listen to. I can’t deny your voice in my ears singing the harmony to my melody; the look in your daughter’s eyes when you’re standing behind me while I’m holding her. Feeling your breath on my cheek as I hold onto Alicia with the kind of love that seems to go beyond lovers, beyond friendship.
Is this what I’ve come to then? One “crazy” thought after another; disconnected; of the world and yet apart from it?
He says he loves you. I love you too. He said this will make me stronger. Let me be your strength.
It feels like too much to ask from you. It feels like too much to be asked of me. But we are asked. And we’ve already answered the call where others have turned a deaf ear. What, does that make us better? More “enlightened?” Or just more foolish; more lost to grief; more willing to believe what our imaginations will tell us.
And what of those who I know are much stronger? Who tell me I’m not crazy; but who are so worried about their own connections? Trish is by far stronger than anyone I know; and yet, is upset because she’s not feeling it. Is that because we are crazy? Or is it as I’ve said, protection for her at the moment, so she can continue to do what she needs to do at the moment. I have far too many questions with far too few answers.
It’s so hard; I drove in this morning, fighting back the tears, then realizing you were crying with me. How much you must hurt too. How much you must feel the same things we do, but cannot express them as we can. You know there’s more work to be done yet; but you still carry with you the same emotions we have in Life. It can’t all go away that quickly, can it? So I know you hurt this morning with me; for me; for you… somehow, that knowledge made me feel better; didn’t make me feel better… I don’t know. I want to believe you’ve moved past all this; but I suppose in a way I find comfort in the fact that it’s really only your physical form which has changed. You can still feel the emotions we are all feeling.
Energy. That’s really what it all comes back to right. That’s all this is. Energy. In different and new forms, but that’s all we really are and it’s just a matter of knowing how to harness it. We both need to learn. Teach each other. Teach the rest. Is that what’s so important? And if so, why?
So, after all of this, where does it leave me? What answers have I concluded? I’m still not sure I know that. Do I feel better? Not exactly. I feel even more worn. Like pouring my soul out today has made yet another small portion of the spirit leave me. Every little bit I give, no matter how or to whom, takes it away from me. How do I recharge?
I do have peace. I don’t think I could function day-to-day if I didn’t really have that. I don’t think I could stand through the tests, through the distractions which I keep finding myself faced with if I didn’t find that peace. Where did that peace come from? You? Me? Another outside source? I’m not sure… maybe all of the above. But there it is. Deep within; a little kernel down in the center of me that I can close my eyes and go to and I’m with Calm again. Maybe the important question isn’t where or why or how… but just knowing it “is” that makes the difference.
Zero Year – The “Event”
Throughout history, men and women have been “destined” for greatness. They have created life-saving inventions, led armies to victory, performed miracles and shown the world peace.
But what is it that makes them “great?” What leads them to take that step forward, which sets them above the rest of us? Genius? Divinity? Patience? Are we all “destined” for such great things, but rather choose the “easy” path, sit back and do nothing?
How would we know if we were called to greatness? What Voice speaks to us? What Event forces us to action?
Nearly two months ago, an “Event” occurred. Not an everyday event that can be ignored and left to fall to memory. No. This had Significance. Some may tell me that I am seeking for Reason in a senseless death to make myself feel better. Maybe they are right. But does that mean that I should give up on what I feel is a “call to greatness?” I can’t imagine that anything, which prompts such action, can be all bad or all senseless or all unimportant.
I feel a pull I cannot explain. A desire to know more than I ever did; and to teach others what it is I know. I feel this is important for some Big Reason. I couldn’t tell you what that reason was. I could sit here and predict Doom and Gloom and tell you about the fall of civilization and the end of the world. But, not only would it be pointless, but it wouldn’t be truth as I know it. Not that I claim to know “Truth”; but I don’t think that’s it.
I have always been a believer in “Magic.” Different religious sects call it different things: energy work, miracles, faith. Whatever the term the result is the same – Man affecting the world around him in ways which may not be easily explained by “Science.” It doesn’t make it any less valid; Science does not know everything yet. But such a nebulous concept is difficult to prove to the skeptic.
I have Magic. I can feel the energy within me, around me. I can see it in other people, in objects, in music.
One phrase keeps circling around in my head: “Divinity of Man.”
Does this mean to usurp a Higher Power (regardless of your term for “It”)? Of course not. It’s arrogant to think so. But that doesn’t mean that we weren’t given the ability to accomplish certain tasks; to be “of” the Divine. We just need to learn how to harness it.
“The Veil is getting thin.” Feeling this is true and hearing this from one source is coincidence. Hearing this from two or more independent sources? Hmm… well, I can’t say I can explain that. But translating the meaning and the significance of that – well that’s an important differentiation that needs made.
Take a look at the world around us. Not a cursory, passing glance. Take a look and tell me what you really see. Some might throw their hands up to the sky in dismay and ask “why?” or cower in fear for the next “bad thing” to happen. Various religious groups would say “this is the end times” or “a Reckoning is coming.” I certainly can’t disagree that things look pretty glum. Brother against brother battle it out in various ways and, as whole we are rapidly headed towards self-destruction.
But what if we’re merely following the Cycle of Life and preparing for a Rebirth and the next step/phase of our Evolution. I don’t mean evolution as in monkey to man – but rather, a recognition of the true Divinity of Man. An Enlightenment. “God” giving our consciousness a little push to help us realize the potential we’ve been given and separating the chaff from the wheat, so to speak.
And, if all this is the case, does sitting idly by produce the desired end result? I hardly think so.
What makes Man great? What calls us to Greatness? Ourselves. We have the ability to not allow ourselves to become stagnant in our growth.
Year One – Reflection
A lot happens in a year.
A lot of things change.
A year ago today, Life changed.
For difference (because for "better" or "worse" certainly can't be applied here).
A year ago today, *I* changed.
A year ago today, everything I thought I knew... was altered in such a way, as to leave me unsure of my next steps.
A year ago today, I grew up... again. Too many experiences, happening too close together... and now I am surely more ancient than the oaks.
A year ago today, I lost my friend... and gained my Guardian.
I hate change. I just want the world to stop for a bit, so I can catch my breath.
I want every emotion to just sit stagnant for a while; every one I feel tears at me so hard, I feel shredded. Sadness, anger, joy, love, lust... each one rips into me more and I have forgotten how to hold them in check. You want to know "what's wrong?" What's wrong is that I am a raw bundle of nerves and every emotion you feel comes at me tenfold. No one seems to get that about me anymore. I don't know why it changed so much, but a year ago, it changed.
And now, only a handful of people can even come near me without my skin wanting to just fall away from these raw nerves showing the world what I feel each and every day.
Too many voices, too many sensations... too many emotions. "The Veil is thin," he tells me, and no one knows better than me right now, as I fight against it every day.
Touch, sound, smell, sight... each one is stronger, each day and I cannot take the onslaught of vampirism; of emotions vying for my notice; of voices wishing to be heard.
One year ago I finally realized what it was that I was put here for... but it took that year for me to accept.
One year feels like a million without you here to show me the way.
One year and I've forgotten to ground, so everything runs across my skin like an electric current.
One year.
Where will I be again in one year?
Year Two – Anger
I thought of starting this one the same as last year’s… “A lot happens in a year…” but then I really thought about it. I realize that for all that has “happened,” we have remained stagnant. So, how can I claim how much has changed, how much has moved forward because of all of this, when, in my heart of hearts I feel I have failed… WE have failed… and, in fact, if anything, this year has moved backwards. Backwards without you. What sort of improvement is that?
So… without further ado…
One Year.
One more year and I felt I was starting to understand. Starting to accept. Starting to move forward and live in the direction you pointed me.
One more year and I moved beyond the “sense” of you; sharing with you something I never really understood was part of my make-up. Learning new “tricks,” all the while fighting tooth and nail, convinced that if I let you in, I lost a little part of myself.
One more year and I understood this was just more of who I was and it helped you stay with us. One more year and I accepted that role.
One more year and your message, written down so very long ago now it seems, became so very clear to me. One more year and I realized just how human we are and how impossible the task.
One more year and I’ve watched concern grow complacent. I’ve watched kindness move to pettiness. I’ve seen tenderness stripped down naked before callous gossip.
One more year and I realize we are not good enough for that type of Love you’ve been trying to speak to me about.
Oh… I understand it. I know the value and importance of it, certainly. But I just think it’s a request far out of our grasp.
One more year and I understand where we are headed.
In a year, I controlled those emotions, reined them in and worked towards focusing them on something productive and worthwhile. And in one more year, I’ve torn that down, allowed those nerves to become raw again… and projected these raw nerves as far as they could reach, tearing down everything in their path.
Maiden, Mother and Crone – I learned them all in a year and embraced each role in turn and as needed. But this mortal shell is getting too small for all of these facets of the prism… and it rapidly started to crack.
One more year…
How many will it take before I can write of our successes, Love? And, will it then be too late?
Year Three – Acceptance
As the title indicates, this is the third year I have written this. The third year I have lived without his physical presence around to remind me of why. But, it’s also the third year that I have come to realize that physical presence is only the smallest part of the effect others have on our lives.
Erik was literally larger than life. Both physically and in personality… and in the way he emotionally gave everything he had to those he loved. We take that for granted. We take that for granted far too often for my comfort, personally, but I will not change the world’s views. I can however, change mine and give of myself more than I have ever in the past. And, it took Erik’s passing to remind me of that fact.
It’s been three years since Erik Mitsch passed away, at the age of 26, leaving behind a beautiful wife and precious three month old daughter. It’s been three years since my world (and everyone else who’s life he touched) was turned upside down and inside out and we were put in situations we never could have imagined. Three years since Wes and I took Ali and Olivia in… three years since I felt certain it would have been the end of my friendship with her. Three years since we faced our fears, our insecurities and our grief.
I’ve learned a lot about the phases of grief in three years. I’ve learned that some folks become permanently stuck and will never grow and progress through all of those phases. I’ve learned that some folks move far too fast through them… without the benefit of processing each one to its fullest. And every day, I learn a little bit more of what we’ve lost… and what we’ve gained since he died.
So, as per my usual… “without further ado…”
One Year.
Another year has passed; another time to sit and reflect on what it is Life has become without you here.
And, even writing that line, I still chuckle. “Without you here.” Sure, I don’t have you here like I’d like… but I do understand you haven’t left me. I understand a little more of that message you sent so long ago now, it seems.
I love you.
I have loved you from the moment I met you and I will love you long after I have moved onto my next life and we become but a Dream of one another again.
And I understand that is part of what you’ve been telling me all along. You’ve given “permission” for me to love as I need to; and not just you, but the many various people in my life.
I understand that I may be alone in my understanding… that others will never fully reach the point of comprehending “love.” And that’s ok. Because that is not my job or responsibility to tell them. They’ll have to learn it on their own.
I understand that my understanding does not mean my practice is perfect. And that’s ok too.
I’ve come from a place of anger; to a place of patience. I cannot change the world; I cannot even change the person next to me. But, I can continue to love. And it has hurt so bad this past year to do so – to love and to be alone in my love. But, I have learned to stop having expectations on that love – without expectations I cannot be hurt when that love is not returned.
I wanted initially to write about some of my hurts this past year. But, in truth, I have consciously chosen over the last several months not to discuss these hurts. I don’t think it will accomplish anything except to allow me to continue to hurt. And I’m very tired of allowing myself to do that. And besides…
In the end, “we all die alone.”
And there’s so much truth and so many lies in that simple statement.
In a year, I have learned I have power. I have learned that all those things the “doubting Thomas” in me denies time and again, DO exist. And I can control them. You smile to hear me say that… but without you, I never would have come to that. Because in a year, you did not give up on me. You fought for me and beside me. And you pulled me back through to the other side of understanding.
In a year, I have learned patience. I’m still not very good at it, but I recognize that through it is the only way I can succeed.
This year you have shown me the cycles once again – friends who move in and out of my Life at times when I most need them to do so. To learn a lesson; to remind me of my solitary; to remind me of my life of fullness. Contradictions.
This year you have shown more cycles of rebirth as well to me. And so many little blessings keep arriving to remind me that we are all born, we live, we die and we are, of course, born again. And this year… some of these little blessings are going to be such new souls that you have shown me I have more responsibilities as The Crone than just guiding the old souls back into this Life again. What a gift and challenge this is going to be!
Another year and I’m finally coming around to acceptance. Acceptance of loving you and losing you and knowing that you weren’t the first and won’t be the last and that “loss” comes in so many forms. But acceptance is what really moves me forward and helps me grow.
I still hold anger. And, I’ve allowed myself to do so. I’ll always easily be hurt; and I’ve permitted myself to learn from that and move past it.
But most of all, I have finally learned Love. I have learned what it means to really Love others – unconditionally and without expectation. I’ve not gotten as far as putting these lessons into practice, but I have come to understand the necessity of this Love.
Year Four – Reminders
One year.
And it almost passed without me knowing.
At first I was annoyed with myself… felt stupid for forgetting.
But, why on earth would you remind me when all you ever wanted was for me to forget the anniversary of the loss?
I learned that this year. That this date is no more a loss than the other 364 days of the year I don’t have you physically here.
I came to acceptance last year. And I still hold it. This day is no more significant than the rest of them… the significance is knowing that I do not have you here in body, but I will always have your heart and that part of your soul and spirit you have reserved for me.
I have not forgotten you. But you come up in conversation so many times over the year now that it doesn’t hurt so much anymore.
I have said to others that you have moved on… moved up. And the spiritual side of me is so happy for that.
After all… to keep you here would only be selfish. And not what either of us ever wanted.
You will always be my Guide. Even if it’s only the essence of the Spirit you’ve left behind for me which now Guides me. You’ve got things to do; places to be; and someday a new life to be reborn to. Bright Blessings, Brother.
I have restarted our Dream that we discussed. And while it’s not “perfect,” perfect is not really what it should be. Thank you for pointing that out to me again.
I will never have perfect. Not in a lot of things. Best I can hope for is “as good.” As good as I can be… as good as I can get… as good as others are able to give.
I learn new lessons about myself, others and Spirituality.
And, it’s all because four years ago, I lost love. I lost a brother. I lost a friend. I lost… in order to find.
We spent so much time “looking for reasons” and angry we did not find it. Angry at “God;” at each other; at ourselves and at you. Because what “good” can ever come of a death like yours? What sense can be made of it?
I get it. I don’t have to ever like it. But I get it.
Will I remember next year? If I need to. Does it matter if I forget? Only if all that I have learned in four years comes to nothing and only if I don’t continue my journey.
I love you, Erik. And I will always miss you.
Year Five– Movement

One year.

One year, year after year, turned to two, to three, to four… and now to five. Half a decade. One year that faded you into a memory, into a Dream.
Last year I said that you had become the “essence of the Spirit… left behind for me which Guides me.” And in one year, I think I understand what that really means… though I’m not sure I’d ever be able to explain it to anyone else. But “Spirit” and “soul” are not necessarily the same thing… and I’m very glad for that, since I can hold onto the essence that is you, in this life, even as you progress your soul into the next. Thank you for that understanding.
As we came up to the anniversary, this year was different than last. I had early reminders. Whispers of memory and scent and sound… dreams which I was never blessed with before haunted my nights, leaving me melancholy upon waking, but only insomuch as I would have wished to have just a little more time with you. Well, in truth… they made me miss your physical presence more than ever before in the last five years.
In this last year, I ventured out on my own, something I thought was necessary and something I definitely needed. I needed escape. Escape from so much of… well… no… I don’t need to speak of it here. You know and I know and that’s what matters. Because those reasons didn’t change just because I left. I just learned that it’s my responsibility to manage how those reasons make me feel – running away doesn’t solve them. I’ve said it before… I can only change myself and my reaction to things. I cannot change anyone else.

There were more words here.

But… in five years I don’t always feel the need to share them. Can no longer waste breath screaming into deaf ears.

One year… year after year… every year… and I learn more about myself. A reflection… all because of you.

I’m still left with a heartache and a melancholy I cannot ever find the words to fill. But, one year… year after year and I am ok with that. And ready for the new adventure you’re going to help me through.

Year Six – Love

One Year.

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

i need your grace
to remind me
to find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we’re told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

It's always come back down to this, hasn't it. Laying here; watching the world together and sharing in that one perfect idea... that one concept that, no matter what, no matter the distances, no matter the years, no matter the status of incorporeal-ness... it all comes back to Love. That perfect, purest of concepts. That ideal which is so many different things to so many different people.

And I lay upon the grass, watching the clouds move slowly by; watching the years, one year at a time.  Always with you by my side, though it all, like you always were and always will be in one form or another. 

One year; year after year and I still hurt like it was yesterday sometimes and other times it's as though it's been a million years. But, your love will always remain, as it always was and that gets me through it year after year after year.

I look at your picture on my desk and look at myself in the mirror. My hair is greying at the roots; and even those little laugh lines have sprung up sometimes when I'm not looking. But you will never get older; you will always smile at me that crooked smile we all loved so much, with that look of "hey... baby" and a wink just behind it. And always ready with a "Hello, Gorgeous" just when I need to hear it the most. And that, will always make me feel young no matter how many more years I write this.

How lucky we all have been to have had you in our lives. To still have you in our lives, though it took some adjusting to accept the new aspect of you. And how I miss you every day still... the biggest contradiction of all - missing you and feeling you here at the same time. 

I have so much going on this week and I was worried I wouldn't get this writing done in time. I had too many other thoughts crammed into my head and too rushed and too worried I wouldn't do it justice... wouldn't do YOU justice by just throwing something together. As always... you managed to guide me to the words when I needed, tears streaming and yet a smile on my face thinking of you. You are still my inspiration, my Muse, my Guide and my Light. What a legacy for you to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. You left us with a great gap in our lives... and yet we were full to overflowing for knowing you in the first place.

You know the struggles I've been through in the last few years. The ones I still am yet facing. And you hold me up and give me strength and allow me to continue to hope. Hope and Love... these are really what makes this world getting up for in the morning anymore. And I continue to have them, because of you. 

Did you ever even know how many lives you touched? How many friends loved you? Really, truly loved you? I know you didn't then... I hope you do now. 

I miss you Erik. More than I can possibly ever describe here. And it doesn't really get any easier, year after year, but I want to make sure I tell you that. However many years I continue to walk this year, I will tell you I miss you. And I love you. And I know that you continue to stay with me, in my heart and mind, giving me strength and hope when I most need it; being a friend to me when I feel like I have no others; loving me when I'm certain no one else could. You push me through my insecurities, you show me how gorgeous I am, when I'm feeling it the least and you point out where friendship and hope and love continue to exist in my life when I've gone blind in my own darkness.

"Those three words... are said too much... they're not enough."

I love you. Not just Erik. All of you. Every day. More than I should and never enough, I'm sure. You all make me all that I am and all that I ever was and ever will be. Would you lie with me and just forget the world...?

Year Seven – Control and Hope

One year – and what a year it’s been since last I wrote of you.

It sometimes seems my heartaches could fill oceans. And years like this, I know my tears surely could. Yet one year, year upon year, all I can think is that I got beyond the heartache of losing you, I can get through all the rest.

It hurts sometimes to think about that call that night. The surreal feeling of it all; the numbness; the anger taken out on others (and the never saying “I’m sorry” for that... so I’ll say it now. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I yelled; I’m sorry I wasn’t more comforting for you. I’m sorry…). But like all pains, it does fade. It does move into a place of memory where it doesn’t hurt quite so much.
One year – this year – has seen me through a lot of tough times, a lot of anger, a lot of heartache, a lot of loss. Some I had no control over; some my control only goes so far and then I have to realize that it needs to be given over to others to remedy… and I have to learn to let it go and be at peace with a lack of control. 

This year’s “theme” is two parts – Control being the first.

I control me. I control my feelings. I control my actions. I control my words. I own them, for better or for worse. But I cannot control those things in others. Though I can control how I choose to deal with feelings of being wronged, I cannot control the act in others. So, I accept that lack of control and move on for what is best for allowing me to control myself. Even if that means walking away. I own walking away… I control and accept that.

Last summer, right around this time, as a matter of fact, I was headed to my second IVF treatment. I remember thinking the timing was not lost on me. I took it as an omen… you were watching over me and mine and if we were going to succeed, this was the time. 

And succeed we did. I was certain you had “intervened” on this one. And before I knew it, we’d be welcoming our little blessing into the world. And two weeks later those feelings were replaced with another heartache as we lost that little blessing. Three little blessings, if truth be told. I have never really written much publically about that time – and won’t really go into it now either – but that heartache was piled upon day after day and week after week for a variety of reasons and I was certain the downward spiral would never end.

And that brings us to the second part of my theme – Hope.

Somehow, I found that strength within me again. I owned my feelings and pushed through them to try again… and again… and headed down the road that I needed to go in order to have that family I have so long dreamed about. Maybe you were still walking by my side as you have often done these last seven years (and well before that)… or maybe you pushed me to find that strength within myself. But I did it. And I held onto Hope, where Hope was rapidly looking to abandon me. 

And these last few weeks, I’ve looked at that picture on my desk of you and thought how I wish you were here to see where that Hope has gotten me. I still falter in the “control”… but Hope… Hope has pushed me this far, and though I fear a great deal that things continue to go well, Hope has brought me to believing I will welcome that little blessing before the year is out. Though I wish Uncle Erik could be around to share this joy with us… I know he will be in spirit there to comfort and guide and love as much as he has been these last seven years.

I’ve started to learn a very important thing about “family” – real family. They aren’t afraid to speak up and speak out. They aren’t afraid to show you their love; their support. They will cry with you and hold you and see you through. They will ask after you, when they know times are particularly tough, even if you don’t want to talk about it, they will still show you they’re thinking of you – every day, day after day; One Year… year after year after year after year…

Even Death cannot stop the loving arms of Family around you. I see it in the sunrise, I see it in the children around me, I see it in the smile of my sister-and-more-than-my-sister, I see it in a simple texted word from our Beautiful Love of the Woman. But most of all, I see it in the man who has stuck by me the way a friend must. 

(I almost made it through this missive without tears… almost).

But, Erik, I still see it from you… in all these things and people and more. 

I always knew this writing was more a reflection for me than necessarily a “memorial” for you… but, without your Life and your Death, I may never have grown past where I was to where I am headed. And that is why I continue to write, year after year… to remind myself of what I’ve lost… but also what I’ve gained these seven years past. And year upon year, I continue to see all the signs you leave for me, letting me know you’re thinking of me…

Well I know they say all good things
Must come to some kinda of ending
We were so damn good, I guess we never stood a chance
Go on find what you’ve been missin'
When that highway's tired of listenin'
You’ll see I’m not that easy to forget...

When a new moon shines through your window,
Or you hear a sad song on the radio,
And you don’t know why, but you just start to cry...
Or your driving round on a sunny day
And outta nowhere comes a pourin' rain,
And a memory hits you right out of the blue...
That's just me
Thinking of you

I’m not gonna try to stop you,
Doesn’t mean that I don’t want too;
If I know you, you’ve already made up your mind.
So go on and go if you're really leavin'
Put a million miles between us,
But you still feel me like I’m right there at your side

And when a new moon shines through your window,
Or you hear a sad song on the radio,
And you don’t know why, but you just start to cry...
Or you're driving round on a sunny day
And outta nowhere comes a pourin' rain,
And a memory hits you right out of the blue...
That's just me
Thinking of you

And I’m thinkin' about the road your on,
I’m thinkin' about you comin' home,
I’m wondering if you've got your radio on...

And when you find your way to another town,
And someone tries to lay you down
And a feelin' hits you right out of the blue...
It's me
Thinking of you

That's just me
Thinking of you.
(- Thinking of You, Christian Kane)

Year Eight

One year. One more year. Year after year and you never age; smiling out at me from the picture on my desk with that mischievous grin and a “Hello, Gorgeous” just waiting to be spoken.
Sometimes I can’t believe we are just two years shy of a decade from when we lost you. It sometimes hurts like it was yesterday and other times feels like millennia have passed.
Morgan Amelia was born this past December. She looks so much like her father and I haven’t seen him so in love with a little person since your own Olivia came to live with us. I know you must be helping to guide him some days. I know he wishes you could be here to share in this with us.
When her 3 month “birthday” came around I went into a panic. I worried constantly about something happening to him, to me… to her. I thought how I couldn’t bear it if anything happened and it ruled my days and my nights. I was beside myself with the worry and anxiety.
I met a wonderful group of women while I was pregnant; and though my communications have all be online, I received some amazing support from them. Sometimes I do like to think you guided me to that group – because sometimes their comforting words remind me of things you would have said.
Like telling me to enjoy the time I do have with Morgan. Because Life is precious and we never do know how much time we have with anyone. And it’s best to make the most of the time we have.
That is probably my biggest regret… not having made more time for you while you were here. We lived right around the corner and we were all always too busy. It’s harder now with a little one to find time… but I do try as much as I can to make the best of the times I have with folks. I don’t ever want to regret like that again. I don’t want to miss out on those moments.
Sometimes Morgan smiles and laughs and “talks” to a spot just over my shoulder and I like to think Uncle Erik is back there making faces at her. It makes me miss you all over again… but I still feel close to you that way; knowing you will always be there, just over my shoulder, watching the goings on of my life and looking out for me. That gives me a great deal of peace and comfort during the worst of my fears and anxieties. That, no matter what, you will always be there for me, especially when I need you most.
Thank you, Erik. Thank you for being so amazingly you all those years ago; thank you for the gentle reminders of how precious Life is; thank you for the blessing of Alicia and Olivia in my life; and thank you for showing me what real Love means, so that I am able to pass this on to my own daughter and share with her all I have learned from you through the years.



  1. right must remember not to read this first thing in the morning. good thing i dont wear mascara... miss u and love u always erik.

  2. Sorry, love. And this is the full six years too, so you sort of get the full force/range of my emotions in that time. I think that's part of the reason I haven't gotten to my Year 7 yet (usually I'm early). Every time I think to write it, I'm at work and been a tad emotional as it is already. :)