I sit in my living room on this strange May afternoon and grieve a life lost early this morning to the disease of addiction. My head is a jumble of emotions and my body feels disconnected from itself and the planet it occupies. We were a few walls away when this beautiful human breathed his last breath. We were inside the same house, separated only by a number.
Apartment 1 and Apartment 2.
We saw the ambulance lights and heard the police officers outside the door. Listened to cries of anguish and statements of disbelief from the neighbors who awakened to find his lifeless body beside their own. They did what they could to save his life. They couldn't do enough.
We stood outside with our neighbor and his friend as the medical examiner asked questions about the events of that evening. We gave them coffee and Kleenex, we gave them our presence and understanding. We know all too well this story. We wish it were not reality.
Not this close.
Not this day.
The man who, just a few hours earlier, was so full of life....doing skate tricks on the sidewalk beside our door, talking with us about his passions, looking forward to going to detox today, is no longer here. And the fragility of life and the unfairness of it all, and the hell that is addiction is crashing in waves upon us. Helplessly we cling to the one thing that has kept us buoyant in our storms.
Even today, with the enormity of grief weighing heavily upon our hearts, hope is still a tangible and living thing. We see the outpouring of hope on the lips and in the words of our community of recovering. Fleshing out the movement of mourning, together.
Together breeds hope.
Together brings purpose and meaning to our grief.
Together, the memories of love and friendship with this beautiful human will live on exponentially, conquering the darkness of addiction and breathing new hope and purpose into our recovery journeys.
We do not grieve like those who have no hope. For this is not the end.
Rest in peace, beautiful soul.
Until we, together in hope, meet again.