A man I knew died from a cruel disease last week. His name was John. I met him a hand full of times but he played a significant role in making many of my happiest memories. He knew my name and went out of his way to speak to me or share a hug when I did see him. I counted him as a friend. Though I never had chance to repay his generosity of spirit. I remain grateful for the way he touched my life.
I was surprised at the strength of the grief I felt. Many people I care about are feeling that grief more keenly than I, and were lucky to count him as a friend. I wrote about how I make sense of things through film and music. I’ve been doing just that about the death of John. His death wasn’t a shock, his illness was. And the injustice of it is indescribable.
People I care for have been in the eye of that storm for months, dealing with the cruel progress of a despicable disease. By all accounts John faced that with dignity and grace.
I’ve been trying to find words of reassurance, and realise that there aren’t any.
Life is cruel, those who shine brightly can be taken early. But I also know that those of us who are left are survivors. There comes a point…..after the storm……when we just have to gather ourselves and move forwards knowing that we survivors need to take the light of those no longer with us and make our lights shine more brightly in their memory.
I can’t claim to speak for him, or to know what he might have thought, but I know there are people, survivors, picking their lives up from the floor and piecing them back together so that they can put on a smile and provide for his family and their own.
Sometimes life or calendars mean we can’t hide and wait for the storm to abate, you have step out into it and face the storm head on.
These words are from a Rocky Film, they are out of context, but they are nonetheless a challenge that life inevitably brings….because ultimately moving forward is driven by a decision, not a feeling..
“Let me tell you something you already know.
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.
It’s a very mean and nasty place,
I don’t care how tough you are,
It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let It.
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as Life.
But it ain’t about how hard you hit.
It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward;
how much you can take and keep moving forward.”
There is never a tomorrow. When it comes it is just another version of today.
Thats all you have to do; wake up, get dressed, eat and move forward, focus on now, placing one foot in front of the other. The future is just a succession of those nows. Accept the pain, accept the grief, just keep moving forwards and eventually you will be able to look beyond today.
The storms will pass.
“After the rain the fear and the thunder…you will be free to rise again”
Nobody is expecting a jester on stage in the coming months just know that when you falter, even in the most public of situations, you will be carried onwards by the love of those bouncing with you.
At some point there will have to be a first show…….it will never be easy……it just needs to be done.
Over and out.