I lost someone yesterday. Actually, that’s ludicrously selfish of me, and quite inaccurate. We all ‘lost someone’ – it happens every day. In this case, a man once went to war, came home, lived some portion of his life after we lost touch, and yesterday he chose to end it. I found out fairly promptly, from another friend. What’s odd is that I never heard about birthdays, weddings, divorces, vacations…he only recently joined the Facebook masses. We’d only recently reconnected.  Life can be very like a soap bubble, sometimes, fragile and impermanent.

I wept at the loss of a piece of myself, however small. I wept that we hadn’t shared more, longer, and that I really just don’t know what burden had become to heavy to carry further. I contemplated other lives that ended, one way or another, and gave a moment of heartfelt loving recollection of times shared, and moments worthy of remembrance. My thoughts were of family, and love, and struggle, and warfare; good memories and difficult memories, exciting ones, and commonplace ones, all had their turn. I wept because however much I ever know about those dear to me, and however much they know about me, there always seems to remain unsaid what lacked words; I find myself wondering if I could have said more, or listened more skillfully.

A moment of reflection: life, love, honor...

A moment of reflection: life, love, honor…

Always. Never. These are words I work hard to avoid; they nearly guarantee a logical fallacy as soon as they are dropped into a sentence. How is it they come up so often in a moment of grieving?

“Man down”. At 51 I guess I will start to hear it more often. Those were the words on the phone, when I answered. “Man down. We’ve lost another one.” Enough detail to move on with grieving. Suicide is uncomfortable to contemplate, at least for me. It puts the pain of despair too near to my own pain.  So far, I continue to choose life over death, myself, but I understand considering it.

Every journey ends

Every journey ends

Someday the phone call will be for me… a friend will call another friend, then the pause… “Man down.” I hope I too will be described as having ‘served with honor’; from my friends that is a very big deal indeed.

Today is a good day to embrace life and love, and to live wholly invested in the experience, and present in the moment. There isn’t any other, and this one is very much worth it.