You Were In My Dream
My mother lost a good friend yesterday, suddenly, to a heart attack. It's not the first for her; several years ago, she lost two close friends, a married couple, within a year of each other to cancer. They were devastating losses for her, and whereas all deaths are hard, some shake you more than others. I know this because in my relatively short time here, I've buried four of my peers, and each one is a pain all to itself.
The first was Darren, when I was 19, a suicide by hanging. A friend from the neighborhood, he was dying of AIDS, and hung himself from the depression that a certain Boston hospital would not treat, as their policy at the time (1991) was to isolate patients with AIDS. I've written about him before.
The next was Peter, also from the neighborhood, a mere 7 years later. Work-related accident. A Gulf War veteran, he left behind a wife and a barely tw0 year-old girl. In 2009, the neighborhood buried his sister Rosemary, who died from a brain tumor. It's left me feeling slightly cursed.
The worst to bear was Andrew. One of my high school friends, so very near and dear to my heart; he took his life in 2003, which sent me into a period of darkness I struggled to emerge from. Andrew is with me every single day of my life; the year Grace was born, he was particularly "present" in the atmosphere. He seemed to be floating nearby, singing from the beyond and sending love in that boundless energetic way he always did. I see sun dogs in the sky from time to time, and I say hello to him, as he was the person who pointed out that phenomenon to me. The other night, C and I were sitting here in the living room, talking, and I was telling him this story, and Cat Stevens popped up on shuffle (The shuffle knows, always), and I laughed and actually told him to go away, I was busy. But he's there, one of the ghosts in my life. And whereas his death rocked me to my very core, knowing him, I understand that he would want me to keep living and breathing and feeling and loving every moment of my life, to its fullest capacity. So he sends me love in times of great hardship, and he sends me love in times of great joy.
The ones we love never really leave us when they go. They don't; I believe this fully. Just like this song, they are in my dreams, driving circles around me. And I wouldn't wish them away for anything.
Your Ghost - Kristen Hirsch