When I wrote the first “Six Months On” post, I would have never guessed I’d be writing another one again. Certainly not so soon.
When Zach wrote the post inspired by mine, “Thomas“, ending with the words “Goodbye, my friend. Save a duck or two for me”, I would have never guessed that less than a year later, Zach would have gone to collect those ducks.
And six months after saying goodbye to one of the most decent, kindest, and smartest people I’ve ever known, it’s still a bit unreal.
In his posts about losses — not just Thomas, but his grandfather as well — he always stressed celebrating life, not mourning loss. His girlfriend Kristen reminded us of that in a Facebook note tonight.
So I’m not here to mourn, much as I’d like to.
I choose to celebrate. Celebrate the people I get to spend my weekends with — people I know because I knew Zach. Celebrate the fact that in four days, I’ll watch two of those friends get married — in fact, they’re the friends who shouldered so much of the load for Kristen and the CSz family in the two weeks between Zach’s incident and his passing.
And, I guess, I celebrate the fact that I’m here. Which is something we all forget to do, I think. Just take in, for a moment, the fact that you are indeed… here. Wherever that “here” is, you’re alive and you’ve got your own celebrations to tally.
It’s a lesson lost on me at times, I think. I get too caught up in the trivia of day-to-day life that I forget to just be glad I’m here.
Unfortunately, it often takes losing people — especially far too young — to be reminded of that.
My goal, six months on from one and almost two years on from the other, is to someday live that. Someday, I’ll stop being grouchy about life all the time and just live it. I just have to untangle and rewire decades of curmudgeonery. Yes, that’s now a word.
I really don’t have much to add — and honestly, I’ve got too many tears in my eyes right now to type much more.
For now, I leave you with the words Zach wrote after he realized he was about to lose his grandfather. Words that Terry Gau built her sermon around at Zach’s funeral. Words that, again, I aspire to actually figure out how to make real in my life…
“Love is fantastic. It’s a credit card without limit. Spend that love as much as you can. Spend it with your friends, your family. Spend it with those who you don’t even think you should spend it on. It’s love for ourselves and love for each other that help make this world a better place to live.”