Living Spree

You did lonely and pain so gracefully, you forgot who needed you.

I have spoken at more funerals than I have been in weddings. I’m only 44. While I would like to believe this is because I am a depth demander when it comes to relationships, it could likely be because I am no fun and a horrible dancer.

Regardless of the reason, I already have more eulogies in a folder than I do bridesmaid dresses in a closet.

I lost my best friend on June 5, 2005. He took his own life. I said this….

You are beautiful. Those were the words he spoke to me on the day of my wedding. In that moment, with a tenderness that only he could offer, he made me feel like I was the only one that mattered. He wanted me to shine. It never mattered where I was or what I was doing, whenever I was with him, I felt beautiful.

This is who he was. This was his gift. He embraced the lives and experiences of those around him and made us all feel beautiful. The gift he was so graciously able to give to others – (love) – he struggled to find for himself. He did lonely and pain so well, he forgot we all needed him. But it was moments like the one at my wedding that I knew and felt his happiness. It was palatable in everything that he did, everything that he touched, every word that he spoke. He experienced happiness through all of us, I believe —- he lifted joy through our smiles, laughter and successes.

He was awe-inspiring and came into my life at a time when I was in need of true friendship. He set aside his own hardships and offered me a love that was selfless and pure. Our friendship grew with each heartfelt memory we shared. We laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed (almost daily).

He leaves behind an afterglow; his tender heart, his gentle touch, his sweet smile and laughable giggle. I stand here not knowing exactly how to honor a spirit that changed my life. I will have to trust that his memory will walk beside me and all of you. I will have to trust myself to listen to the gentle breezes of life and to find him in the details of the world. And in the end, I will have to not be angry or jaded. I will have to trade my sadness in for a commitment to a living spree. And I don’t know how to do that yet. But, I will figure it out. I will find a way to live in honor of him.

One of my most cherished photographs is the one that captured the moment between he and I; you are beautiful, he said. I am grateful to not only have been witness to, but to have experienced, the beauty and grace that was him. I will never, ever, ever lack beauty in this world. He gave me a lifetime of photographs.

So today, we wrap our arms around a life that always embraced all of ours. Let us give him a moment of true beauty, unconditional love and compassion just as he did on my wedding day.

Today, let us be the ones to whisper to him….you are beautiful.


  1. What a beautiful well you’ve dipped into for this one! I laughed out loud and the beginning when you wrote, “…it could likely be because I am no fun and a horrible dancer.” It was the perfect way to set the spree in motion for your reader, and when as I finish, I am still smiling. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul! And he had the best hair! 🙂


  2. Indeed he made beautiful and joy something to talk about. Oh how I miss that smile and giggle. Your words still echo the abundance of his love.


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