Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

I do not mourn the dead

I do not really mourn for the dead. I mourn for their survivors and for the loss they feel, and for the part of them that is missing now that someone special in their lives have gone.

I learned of death very early in life, just 3 months shy of my 3rd birthday. What I learned about it, I really could not say. I am sure I did not understand it then, nor do I think I understand it now, I don’t know that I need to. I know death exists. I know that everyone perishes with time. I know that it is part of life, I know that it is painful for those who are left behind, and I know that the dead leave a hole in the universe, in the space they took up, and in the hearts of those who knew, cared for and/or loved them. I was taught and I believe that there is a better place than here and that death is not the end. And honestly I prefer it this way. So let’s leave it at that.

Of those close to me that have died; my Father, my Omi, my Opa, my Grandpa, and my Grandma, I don’t know that have ever felt a sense of loss. My grandparents were old and it was their time. I was glad that they were moving onto a better place. I remember crying the most, at my Omi’s funeral, I think it was because she was the first to go (after my father that is) and because I was only 16 at the time. What I remember about it though was that I wasn’t crying for her, or even for my loss, I was crying for two of my cousins who were so much closer to her than I ever was. She helped to raise them; she was like a mother to them. I remember thinking how awful it must be for them to lose her. Don’t get me wrong I loved my Omi, but I didn’t feel as if I’d lost her. We lived in different countries so maybe the distance had something to do with that but then again maybe not.. It was pretty much the same with my other grandparents too, the love for them, the distance and the not really feeling a sense of loss thing. Instead I felt a sort of relief for them, happy even. They were moving on to a better place. I guess the fact that they were elderly and had lived a full life made a big difference in how I felt about their passing.

Losing someone who is still young has a different effect. There is more of a sense of shock and maybe even some injustice to it. But still I feel there is a better place.

In the case of my father’s death, who died at the very young age of 29, I don’t know if I felt a sense of loss when he died. I was just so young; I was told “Daddy went to heaven”, and that was that. I only know this because I once asked my mom about how she handled explaining it all to me. I also know I missed him, she told me that I would ask where he was often, until I understood he isn’t coming back…

Through out my life growing up without a father, I felt something…, but I don’t know that I would call it loss, it was more a feeling that I was missing out on something. I was missing having a dad and a connection to him. But I managed to find it the only way I really could, through memories of him. Not mine of course, I don’t know that I have any of my own, but through my mom’s, my aunt’s and my and grandparent’s memories, stories, and pictures of him. They brought me closer to him, so I didn’t so much feel a loss, because I didn’t really know him until after he had died. It taught me how precious and important memories can be. Memories, in this case, shared memories, took a vital role in bringing my father back to me. In a very strong sense he remained alive and with me within the memories kept of him.

The only loss I felt was theirs, not mine. Their loss of a husband, a brother, and a son. Their pain and their grief were always so deep. I could feel it in me, it hurt so badly, but again it was theirs and not my own.

I grew up with a sort of fascination with death. I thought about death a lot, I was intrigued by it, scared of it, curious about it, embraced it and worried about it. I still worry about it. Growing up, my biggest fear was losing my mom, or my sister. I feared having to experience that loss and the pain. I feared being left alone. Now my biggest fear is losing Ron or Leon. I know my world would not come to an end if I had to live a day without my husband or my son, but I would want it too. I just can’t breathe without them in my life.

What I know of death;

I know death exists. I know that everyone perishes with time. I know that it is part of life; I know that it is painful for those left behind and I know that the dead leave a hole in the universe, in the space they took up, and in the hearts of those who knew, cared for and/or loved them. I also know that keeping their memories alive, sharing their stories and picturing them often as life goes on helps to keep them close and alive in your heart and in your sole.

…. I also know that there is a better place than here and that death is not the end. In that I have faith. And I prefer it this way. So let’s leave it at that.

This is to Ron, and to Harley, and Danny, and Drea, and Gen, and Jeff, and Nick, and Ari, and Melissa, and Tommy, and Phil and Mark and everyone else out there whose life has been touched by Matthew Flagg Somers. I mourn for you. I mourn for your loss.

My wish for all of you is to keep him alive and close to your heart through your shared memories and stories of him. I know that there is an abundance of them to go around. May they never fade.

As for me, when it came to Matt I have to honestly say that I was more of an observer than a participant. I never had any long, deep, down heart to heart conversations with him. I would not say that we ever had any sort of bonding moment. We were connected only through Ron. He was Ron’s friend and I was Ron’s girlfriend and then Ron’s wife. I’d like to think there was a mutual respect for the place we each held in Ron’s life. So my memories of him are few and far between but real enough.

So in being an observer I only got to see a small side of him. What i did see though was what he meant to so many. It seemed that many of his friendships spanned decades, and they were plenty.

To me, he had a certain air about him and was annoyingly intriguing

He seemed to believe in his own hype and so did so many others. …I mean that in the best way possible. His ego seemed so immense, and he seemed so full of himself that he became what he projected.

These are some words that come to mind when I think back on Matt; arrogant, smug, mysterious, sly, brilliant, talented, commanding of attention, storyteller, cocky, boastful, dark, deviant, inviting, captivating, and a truly good friend to those who mattered most in his life.

He was no saint, and he could definitely be an evil bastard when he wanted to be. But I think that is exactly the way he liked it and one of the reasons so many were drawn to him.

I think his family of friends meant the world to him, just as he did to them.

My thoughts go out to all of you that were left behind.

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