Life and loss and unspoken things

See this handsome guy (with très adorable bébé)?

His name was Andrew. He went to my church.  He died suddenly a couple weeks ago (apparently from a bacterial infection of some sort).

Andrew and I were friends - not close friends, but friends nonetheless. I used to (jokingly) threaten to unfriend him on Facebook because he was always posting about bacon. So one time he posted an infographic about vegetables and tagged me, saying that he had only posted it so that I wouldn't unfriend him. Earlier this year Andrew became a dad and was thrilled beyond words. The posts about bacon became less numerous, and photos of baby Jaxon took their place. Andrew and Jaxon's mother were not together, but I know Andrew spent a lot of time with his son. It breaks my heart that Jaxon will not know his father, at least not in the direct, physical sense.

I have a tiny confession, which is that even though I'm a happily married old lady, I had a small crush on Andrew. I liked his dark eyes and his ever-present smile. I admired his spirituality and the way he seemed to approach life in a non-traditional way. I remember one time he talked of going camping in the winter. To me, camping in the summer is borderline crazy. Camping in the winter . . . I don't even know.

Losing a friend who's in your age group is always hard to process.  I'm still having trouble accepting that my friend Kevin died, and he's been gone a few years now. I still miss him so. Andrew was a couple years younger than I am. Jaxon needs his dad. The world needs Andrew. It's hard to comprehend this sort of loss.

Now, I know that when someone dies, everyone says, "Every day is a gift," and so forth. It may seem sort of schmaltzy, but in Andrew's memory, I'm endeavoring to make sure my friends know that I appreciate them. I don't know how I got so fortunate to have so many amazing friends. I am blessed indeed.  So, I have been contacting my amigos, mostly just as their names pop into my head, and letting them know, "Hey, I appreciate your friendship."

If you are a friend of mine and you haven't heard from me yet, there are a couple of possible explanations:

1. I just haven't gotten to you yet, but I will.
2. There is a very real possibility that my brain is thoroughly convinced that I've already contacted you and told you of your awesomeness. Like I said, I am an old lady.

I am not including my family because we are a demonstrative lot and do not hesitate to lob the L word at each other with abandon. So, they already know.

One of Andrew's friends posted this on Andrew's Facebook page the other day.

I always assumed you knew how important you were to me, but I never told you outright. Maybe I did, but not in so many words. I wish i had. Even though we weren't together often, my heart is very heavy. 

I am sure that Andrew knew.  However, for those of us who still have a chance to say it, it's worth saying.


aliciajill said…
Oh, my heart just breaks for that beautiful baby!! I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute.
The Lovely One said…
I too believe that Andrew knew how much others cared for him. And I believe that he lives on his new baby. But I agree that it doesn't hurt to let your loved one know how much they mean to you!
Zenseeker said…
Thanks Claudia. I think we all had a crush on Andrew. He just had the kind of spirit that made it feel good to be around him.
Sarah said…
You once told me that not every thing happens for a reason. I believe that. Your ability to do something positive in the wake of this tragedy is an amazing quality especially to those of us lucky enough to be called your friend.

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