365 days

An Irish Airman Forsees His Death

I Know that I shall meet my fate 

Somewhere among the clouds above; 

Those that I fight I do not hate 
Those that I guard I do not love, 
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor, 
No likely end could bring them loss 
Or leave them happier than before. 
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, 
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds, 
A lonely impulse of delight 
Drove to this tumult in the clouds; 
I balanced all, brought all to mind, 
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind 
In balance with this life, this death.

Quote Yeates to me and you've won my heart.

It's been 365 days since this world grew darker.  My grief was overwhelming then and remains so to this day. I've just become better at hiding it. I don't talk about it much but the tears and heartache are always just below the surface. People will give lip service to the fact that there is no timetable for grief but the reality is that most people expect you to move on from the loss of a friend pretty quickly. So I do my best to compartmentalize it, put it in a pretty box on a shelf in my mind and only take it down when no one is around.

My grief stays private - no one needs to see my 'ugly cry'. 

There are a lot of Lexicans getting together to commemorate this day and I think it's wonderful. But I can't. I just can't. Being around people in general on this day is hard enough. My sadness pulls me inward, onto myself. It's not something I can comfortably share with others. This is as close as I get to sharing.

There are days like today where I wish I enjoyed alcohol. I'd hoist a Guinness (for strength!) in honor of my friend. Instead, I'll take a drive, blast some Mumford on the stereo, mail a letter to Lex's wife, and maybe sift through some old emails and wrap myself in my friend's words of wisdom, because I miss those desperately.

Untitled from Nep Lex on Vimeo.


- hfs


John Carmichael said...

You're not alone! Well said, and on point! ~JC

Sandi said...

You most definitley are not alone. The Guinness (for strength!) will be lifted (metaphorically) and I will recall the fun times and many kindnesses of a friend dearly missed.

HMS Defiant said...

I asked Lex and Mary out to dinner a couple of years ago and he accepted for both of them. I also asked my sister and her husband to join us and Dave and Tamara Harvey (padre) along with Beth fbl. We all had a very good time. My underlying motive was to set Lex up with two people I know who between them have written over a dozen books and see if they could influence him and get him to turn Rhythms into a book.
Not so much. He and Mary had a hoot regaling us with their wedding and honeymoon stories set in France.
I have a picture of Lex, Padre Harvey and me at Dave's ordination. He'd asked me and Lex to show up wearing uniform. I miss his humor and his viewpoint. I put it up on my blog to remember a man always ready with a smile and word of encouragement.

NaCly Dog said...

I understand you want to be alone. But I want to thank you for raising a glass with me for Lex and his family, when the pain was very fresh.

I trust you and your wonderful children are doing well.

May your future be as bright as your dreams, as we follow Lex's lead and live our lives to the fullest.

OldAFSarge said...

HF6, I missed this when it was first posted. It's beautiful.

Like you, I feel that this pain is not going to go away until, well, until we all enter the clearing at the end of the path.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. You're not alone.


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