We hadn’t even connected in years, save for Facebook and following your blog. But being the age we are (well, that you were, I suppose – or maybe always will be now), I think we both believed that those still counted as real connections.
You were certainly real in those places. Your courage in sharing your news, your struggles and the things that made your days beautiful astounds me. Twenty-nine-year-olds should never need to be so honest about what days are like when they are so clearly numbered. Yet, you were – and somehow with that crazy sense of humor thrown in.
The way I hear it, you went on your own terms – lots of candy, at home, with your amazing wife. I’m so happy you two found each other, though my heart breaks for her. I think most people wouldn’t blame a twenty-something for moving on when their boyfriend becomes terminal: instead, she chose to marry you. There are no words for that beauty.
Im glad that I told you how much that one recording we did comforted my baby, back when she was a baby. I’m glad we had that time. I’m glad I got to know the real you just a bit. We both know that things were rocky once upon a time. I think you were a good counselor even then, though maybe not the easiest staff member. Then grace happened – you came back, which should have tipped us off to your courage even then. And you were amazing at the work- funny and laid back as always, but something had changed. Maybe it was age, but I also think there was grace and the Holy Spirit in there.
We said prayers for you last night. Liz told me that you loved compline. I always have too. But I couldn’t bring myself to pray the first words. The Lord almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end. Cancer ending your life at age 30 will never be a perfect end – even though I will give thanks that you got candy and the peaceful night part. Even though at the grave we make our song Allelulia Alleluia Alleluia.
You are missed, you are loved, even from this time and distance. Thanks for doing your long goodbye so well. Goodbye.