I miss my friend.
Bryan died a few months ago. He was young, brilliant, and healthy. He was not the die-young type, if there is one. I expected him to spend years and years jousting with political adversaries in online discussion boards. I thought someday he’d be the well-dressed old man at the coffee shop who caught people off-guard with his witty banter. And I wouldn’t have been surprised to find his name linked with some piece of legislature that made our town beautiful or greener or more progressive.
I did not think that, today, I’d be resting my fingers on his name etched in glass on his niche of the columbarium wall. The temperature-control in this room is not working. It is hot and terribly smothering, and I am thankful for something measurable, something external to blame. The church basement is only half-underground, and the narrow window high on the wall pours light into the room like grace, like life. I suck it in.
When I leave, I call my brother and tell him I have closure. My brother doesn’t believe in closure, he says. He believes in time.
Weeks later, I’m at home playing with my kids. Or I’m on the computer, or I’m taking a walk. And I’m caught off-guard by sudden memories of my friend, like crumbs in places I’m sure I’ve swept. I try to brush them all up, to gather them together with the rhythm of a broom. Sometimes, I have a beautiful story. And sometimes, all I have are crumbs. Ashes. Dust.
“His oath, his covenant, his blood sustain me in the whelming flood…”
I think of the window and it’s grace-light pouring in.
Maybe that’s enough.