I have recently become more and more aware of my emotional ineptitude. It’s not that I don’t feel emotions, quite the opposite, in fact. It’s that, for some bizarre reason, I have an incredibly difficult time expressing them (aloud or in print), almost as if allowing one tiny feeling to escape will provide the means for the dam to burst and drown me in the resulting deluge. Or I’ll look stupid. Or both.
During the memorial service of a dear friend, I found myself almost wildly seeking an escape from the emotionally charged atmosphere and the resonance within my own psyche which made me feel so exposed and vulnerable. I stumbled through condolences, simply unable to put into words how I felt and unwilling to expose the chink in the armor protecting my heart for fear of becoming completely lost. And because of this, I feel like I cheated my friend’s family out of any consolation, however slight, that I may have been able to provide. It wasn’t intentional, but it still wasn’t right, and I’m hoping to remedy my lapse, at least a little bit, right now.
My friend had once said, “grief is the price of love,” and although he did not speak these words to me personally, this sentiment is exactly the sort of thing I can hear him say in my memories. He was very intense and passionate about every aspect of life and was always quick to share his enthusiasm with his friends and family, from mischievous adventures in his youth to his love of aviation and his grief when his health prevented him from flying his beloved Arrow.
At his memorial service, I saw a picture of him which truly captured how I always envisioned him. He was on a roller-coaster on the initial steep descent with his arms held high and a look of complete joy radiating from his face. It struck me as the perfect metaphor for his life as he faced every up and down courageously, without fear or hesitation, and with a passion plainly evident to anyone who cared to look, just as the depth of his love, pride and joy for his family was boundless and evident to anyone who knew him.
My life is better for having known Jack, and if my grief is immeasurable, than my love must have been the same. Fly free, my friend. You will be missed.