The vast sorrow and fear of the past few years has threatened to overwhelm us at times, many of us, my imaginary friend. And also for many of us the particular and personal grief of losing loved ones has taken place in a stormy sea of collective anguish that has made the personal seem self-indulgent, somewhat. But today I learned of your imminent death, my friend, and it does not seem my sorrow can be contained.
The remainder of your life will be measured in weeks, but you took the time to have a long conversation with me about your death, and how you have orchestrated it – your palliative care, your request for medical assistance in dying, your family and friends who are spending time with you, a dozen other small details which illustrate the grace with which you approach your death. You have not had many days to come to terms with this yourself, but your love and care and concern for those you will leave behind is evident, as is your courage. Our conversation ended with my telling you I needed to go cry – though if I could take those words back I would. I did shed a few tears, but here is the thing – you are still alive and you are choosing and you are shaping a vision of your death just as you did with your life. It feels as if the least I can do is to save my tears and express my deep appreciation for that grace and courage and a wonderful conversation that explored the meaning of life and death in a way that can never be forgotten.
I told you not so long ago that we would be friends until one of us is no more, but I think we will always just be friends. Half a lifetime of adventures together, from the silly to the profound and everything in between, have shaped our lives and the lives of those close to us in ways that cannot be observable or measured, but that shall reverberate still. We are stardust, in the poetic, the cosmic, and the very real sense of what we are made of, and I shall choose to think that you and I will return to that vast ocean of collective love and oneness with all beings.
And so I propose that we meet up here, my friend.
The witch head nebula, in the constellation of Orien, about a thousand light years from earth, I believe. I don’t know when I will get there, but until I do I will see brightly shining Rigel and think of you, and hold you in my heart as tightly as I can. I can see you striding that constellation with your sense of wonder and curiosity…
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again. Blessed be.