I found out today that a very dear friend of mine passed away. Kirk was the boyfriend who taught me to sail, and about whom I wrote a short story titled, “Haiku.” We’d remained friends over the years.
Though I hadn’t seen him in more than a dozen years, we occasionally wrote and spoke on the phone, sometimes about trivial things and sometimes helping each other through a tough spot.
Strange, how big his loss feels, even though I hadn’t seen him in so long. In fact, I figured I might never actually see him again, but that was okay. A friendship can be dear and valued even though only words are shared.
I’ll miss his laugh, his quick wit, his intelligence, his Zen wisdom. Most of all, I’ll miss his good heart, so tender that he felt the need to keep it fortified behind a wall lined with weapons he readily fired at anyone who tried to penetrate it. And though I sometimes felt intimidated by that wall, I saw what was behind it.
In the last few months, I’ve lost my mother and my uncle. Though it doesn’t make it much easier, I had time to prepare for their deaths and they did not come as a surprise. Kirk’s death was a surprise.
I can’t stop thinking about all the things I wish I’d said to him, can’t get it through my head that there will be no more calls or emails. How long will it take to stop thinking that maybe there will be just one more? I checked my voice mails to see if I had any old recordings with the sound of his voice. Nothing on my new iPhone, but thankfully I found several on my old iPhone. His silly messages made me smile.
He always used to tell me I needed to let go, to live in the present. Forget the past. But that’s easier said than done and between you and me, I don’t think he was very successful at it either.
I’ll miss him for a long time.
This Rumi poem we shared once seems fitting now:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. –Rumi
Rest in peace, Kirk.