What is the measure of a person’s life? How is someone’s entire existence encapsulated, their legacy summed up? It’s an impossible task … the effects of a life stretch far and wide, with ripples seen and unseen, in ways that can sometimes be tangibly recognised and more often amorphously, intrinsically, yet not definably felt.
Recently a very dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. Life events like this are guaranteed to bring questions of mortality to the forefront: especially when they concern one’s nearest and dearest, the select few individuals that fortunate people have, counted on one hand, who you know have your back no matter what … Mere words, mere images cannot satisfactorily express the depth of such a loss, the pulling loose – or tucking under and tying in – of the threads of my life that were woven together from our shared experience, which are no longer living and growing, supple and supportive and offering me protection … I am indelibly changed by my dear friend not being a presence in my life anymore …
Lior contends through beautiful music that “compassion is the measure of a man“. Although I agree with this it seems to fall short in terms of my life-long friend, whose influence on my life extended beyond our compassion for each other. Our unequivocal acceptance of each other in all our soul-nakedness built the foundation of the enduring unconditional love forged between us, which lasted more than thirty-five years. I’m sure that this is why mere words and images feel inadequate to describe and define him …
So, Andrew James Skadins:
I have been set adrift, immersed and enveloped in a sea of grief.
Such depth of loss that you are no longer here is replaced by equal depth of gratitude,
that you were in my life – playing such a pivotal role –
for such an enduring (in years and in quality) time.
I’m reminded of this post and Andrew, my dear friend, you can rest assured:
between us, we completed Steps 1-3 in abundance;
and I will not forget you … at least, not until I can’t remember my own name …
I miss you, my friend.