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I spoke about death.

And in speaking about it, I think, I invited it in.
It hit close to home this time having steered clear of me for a while, granting me time to heal since it ripped father, mother, newborn, friend, in quick succession, in a brutal onslaught that I took very personally.

We became well-acquainted he and I.  I witnessed his handiwork firsthand and was pissed off. We had a serious chat, a chat which ended in the words, "Enough, jeez!" a few years back.

Now he is back, too close for comfort, making his return while I was distracted by work, commitments, fun, love, life...

But I'm over it, instead, celebrating Life. 

In the words of Bon Jovi

"It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive..."

I value living, appreciate life and love, and I live each day like there is no tomorrow. I am quite deliberate in this, making the most of time, it being so precious and fleeting.

One thing I know for sure, death cannot erase your imprint on the world.
It can destroy the physical, but the memories you make, the beauty you create, the love shared and the passion you inspired, the sound of your laughter to your son's ear, the caress of your hand or the touch of your lips, these cannot be undone. These remain, becoming a part of the tapestry of life.
Each one of us can say: "I was here!" 
Each one of our stories will leave an indelible impression on the world.

This was very obvious to me on that sad sad day of loss.
In a room filled with the soft mourning of his beloved and the melodious prayers for the dead, it became clear to me that my friend would live on forever: in the heart of his young widow, in his children, in the lives of the 100's of students whose lives he changed. They came to pay their respects to a man who took them in when everyone else turned them away. They came to say thanks to a teacher, a mentor who spoke to them in a soft voice, with the utmost respect and made them believe in themselves in spite of the world telling them different.

I became a better teacher through his example and for this I am eternally grateful. 
And I will always remember him.

I dedicate this to my friend:

Numbers and Letters

All the labels assigned to me
By teachers, parents, psycho’s and such
You guys really don’t know that much!

Problems, you say, with
+ Calculations,
I am so much more than these classifications.

Hey you, Yes, you, Look!
This is me,
I’m right here
standing with my heart where my designer label used to be.

I’m more IMportant
Than your 13th cheque
Your meeting at 16:00
Your IRP5
Your V6
Your Windows XP…


Death is a part of the cycle of life. It should make us appreciate life more, not live our lives in fear of it. One day, when I am no longer, I hope the memory of me sparks a smile that spreads joy into the world.
And if that happens, my life would've been well-lived.

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