Loss comes in different forms, and I, like everyone of course, have had my fair share of loss. There have been great-grandparents, my grandfather, and others whom I've lost to death, and friends whom I've lost to life. When I think of the greatest losses of my life, I have the aforementioned grandfather and, strangely enough, the loss of my mentor teacher from high school. She didn't die, but she lost my respect, and that's just as well. The point here being is this- no one is good at loss, and I think I'm particularly bad at it because I sometimes pretend it isn't there.
Since about five years ago three people (and, sadly, it may be more if I'm not remembering clearly) I went to elementary school with have died. Two of them have been, at one point or another, really close friends. Brian died in Afghanistan. I went to his funeral and the jerkoffs (is there a better name for them?) at Westboro "Baptist" Church (quotes added by me because, frankly, I was raised Baptist and am not cool with their association) protested. One shook a sign at my car that said "FAG ENABLER," which I found ridiculous and, embarrassingly enough, sort of funny. "FAG ENABLER?" It's true, I suppose. I allow homosexuals to be homosexuals. In any case, the funeral was beautiful and I wrote a poem about it that maybe I'll post sometime provided I locate it.
Last year Adam, who I wasn't really friends with, died. He committed suicide. It was a tragedy for sure, and it only highlighted one of the reasons I went into education- so people could feel like, even if no one cares for them at home, their English teacher does at school.
This weekend Austyn, a kid whose home I frequented for several years as a child, died. I am sketchy about the details, namely in that I don't really have any, but it is just one more to the list of people who I was once friends with who have since died. Does this not push us all to action? Does this not force us all to live our greatest possible lives? It is as easy to say as it is difficult to do. I'm not sure what living my greatest life looks like, but I know this provides motivation to figure out what the heck that is. Although Austyn and I hadn't been close in years, I grieve his loss. The visitation is tomorrow, and I will be stop by to pay my respects, but I wish I had more to say/do.