“Stewards of Memory.”
Nothing can prepare you for something like this. At times, I feel like I’m floating above the world in a vacuum. Looking down at myself in utter silence, the clock stuck at 12:45am and the moment everything changed. The veil of ignorant bliss shattered, in no uncertain terms, by the wave crashing through the phone and into my ear. Why did I answer, I never answer that late at night. As if somehow that would make a difference.
On the other end of the line was a familiar voice, a dear friend, a brother. My mind ran a million simulations of what a call at this hour could be about but none even came close to the answer. The news hit me like a wall but didn’t stick at first. The sheer force of the impact knocked me from myself and into another state of being. One without volume, without substance, without sense at all.
My mind began spinning and slipped the bonds of whatever gravity I had in my life. I grasped for something to say but words, in that moment, had lost meaning altogether. This is not how things were supposed to happen. Not to you. Not to one of us. You were so full of life and love with a spirit like no other. A role model. A friend. A brother. A son. The essence of all we could aspire to be.
Now I scour the deepest parts of my brain for answers to simple questions, where do we go from here? How do we pick up the pieces? I don’t even know where to start. We went through so much together, grew up side by side, shared in so many unforgettable experiences, and now you are gone. I still can’t believe it. You managed to fit so much living into your 29 years that at times it was hard to keep up but somehow, it never felt rushed. You truly lived in the moment and simply by existing, your wild and unique character had a positive impact on everyone around you. Your smile and spirit will be greatly missed. I hope you know that.
All things that have a beginning must have an end, I just wish it wasn’t so soon. We never had a chance to say goodbye. Never got to say “I love you brother” one last time. Your passing has left a hole in my heart, in all of our hearts, that can never be filled. But it’s not because you took a piece of us with you, it’s because you gave a piece of yourself to each and everyone of us. And If by some miracle you can hear this, I hope you know how much you meant to us, how much we loved you, and how much we still do. Your unbreakable spirit will forever serve as a guiding light for all of us left here to follow; as stewards of your memory, together.