To Jeff

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It’s been one year today since you passed away. I have not been the same over this year, nor do I ever expect to be the same. Losing you has become a part of who I am, as much as the gift of having you as my friend for all those years has shaped the structure of my life.
Last night I took out all of my old journals, all of them lined with our adventures, old wristbands with dates on them from when we went out to Respectables, all those nights driving up to West Palm on 95 listening to the radio with the windows down, all those days being lazy hanging out on the corner bench in town, and all the times we spent bartending behind that grand old Victorian bar at the Lyric together. I was so thankful that I wrote those days down so I could remember them, and when I truly read them, it’s as if all of it is happening now, my memory floods open and here you are again.
Here you are.
This is why I am writing this now. To make it real. To not let it be forgotten. To hold onto you. I write these words even if they are painful so I can remember how special this moment was, how utterly heartbreaking yet sacred.
At this exact moment last year, Jamie and I were on either side of you holding onto you as tightly as we could. I remember your eyes clearly – the same old you that I have always known, shining through. We told you how much we loved you, holding your hands.
And there you were.
Your eyes radiated that love back to us. In that moment, the silent exchange that happened between the three of us. That sharing of true love and friendship and when you just know. You mouth moved to a smile. You knew we were there beside you – we thanked each other for all of the love and the friendship, all of the days we were blessed to have just in that moment in our eyes. A rare connection that I will never forget, one of my most treasured experiences of my lifetime. And moments later, with both of us holding you tightly, encasing you in our arms and our bodies lying beside yours, you exhaled the last breath of your body.
That moment that has connected the three of us for eternity. You, Jamie and I. It has been the one thing that has holds remarkable comfort -knowing the peacefulness with which you departed this earth. Being able to be there with you and feel you take flight to move onto adventures to which we could not follow. The room filled up with the light of you at that moment and we stayed there holding onto you.
I feel you next me on the days I’m driving with the windows down and our favorite old songs come on the radio. I see you in your boys. Sometimes when I’m sitting quietly, I feel you pass by me or catch the scent of you on the breeze and I imagine you are hugging me. I know one day many years from now I will see you again, and I know that you are around all of us – watching over us, just like you always did in your lifetime here.
I am comforted knowing that even death cannot separate us – that our love and true friendship will last for all times, over space and time.
I love you forever.
We
are
always
connected.