Recently, someone really close to my family died, and it has been hard on us all. I was going to write a poem about it, or some deep profound thoughts, but instead I wanted to share from my journal a bit of what I’ve been thinking as a result of it. Below are two entries about how I am dealing with this:
“Today John Miller died. Just writing these words seems foreign to me and I have a hard time believing them. It wasn’t that long ago that I sat down with him and talked with him about my life, love, writing, art, and hiccups. I remember driving him to his father-in-law’s, looking at stuff taxidermy with him, and looking for minks in the pond. It feels like it was only a week ago that I heard his story about him and Shelley (who loved each other more than anyone I know) and how they wrote letters back and forth; that he taught me what it meant to love, laugh, and follow Christ; that he talked about the time he accidentally flipped me onto the concrete floor – like in one of those old kung-fu movies; that he asked me to stand in front of the mirror and tell myself that I loved myself and who God made me; that we biked 210 miles together to Wildwood, NJ; that he let us film a dumb video in his basement; that he laughed as we watched ‘Extreme Days’ and that weird Christmas movie for the billionth time; and that he sat with me as I cried over a break-up and told me, ‘God has something way better for you, you just don’t see it quite yet.’
I miss him and his nachos and his heart and his words and his laugh.
I miss hounding him to see if he drew any new art each week at club.
I miss his puns and his laugh.
I miss the life that he had, but it is a life that is still living in me and in the lives of many others who interacted and lived with it.”
“Miller’s ‘Celebration of Life Service’ is Saturday and I am going through denial for the first time. I’ve never experienced death this close to home before – even with my grandmother. So I’m not sure quite how to react when he is still so alive in my head. Death is not, despite what I have come to tell myself, an easy thing to get used to. And the deeper I love, the greater the odds are that I will have to grieve the death of the one I spend the rest of my life loving. Odds are that one day my life will be a house of cards just like C.S. Lewis’ was. But a life lived well, and shared well, makes loving, with the risk of losing, worth it. The life of a loved one lost is a far greater thing than never experiencing that life. And so I will love no matter the risk; no matter what may come.”
* The picture above was drawn by John Miller it was one of his many pieces of art (he loved drawing things via pointillism).