A few words
(This is a repost from a Facebook note I wrote on 01/07/2010)
There’s no accurate way to express my feelings about this tragedy; I’ve had about a day to think things over which is, frankly, too short a time to even begin to comprehend what has happened. There’s a strange numbness, I think, like holding a coin with frozen hands: you know that coin is there, precious and solid in your hand but all you get are dim and fuzzy outlines. The memory of that coin is solid but the physicality of it is fleeing and elusive.
Last night that coin slipped from my fingers and was lost forever beneath my feet and no amount of scrambling or searching can bring it back. My hands are still numb but despite that, the memory is there, perhaps dulled with time but still tied to what I once knew I had. I didn’t search or scramble – it would be fruitless to do such a thing. Searching for that coin now would be like thrashing about in cold surf: my hands would be more numb, wet and slippery, and the coin is simply gone in the tidal crash.
One thing that keeps me warm and safe, though, are those memories. And to that, the people attached to them. Amber and Bobby are central, a fiery thing that is hard to look at, haloed by what happened to them. Keeping it all together are the people they knew and that I know, friends all, every one of us glued together in ways perceptible and otherwise. We may all have our own lives and our own paths but we can all reliably gravitate towards the core and relate to each other for warmth and friendship. I was reminded of this tonight as we all just talked and laughed and mulled things over, turning our memories of Amber and Bobby over and over like coins in our hands. With time the warmth may fade some but as long as we remember them and remember that we were all brought together because of them, those little trinkets won’t be lost in the surf.
I guess I’m blathering on at this point, trying to find some way to release a series of emotions in a proper and orderly fashion. Again, a single day is nowhere near enough time to mull over this tragedy but it’s a start. And it’s a damned nice feeling to know that others are there with me, willing and ready to share their coins with me in exchange for a laugh or a knowing nod. I think that is the most important thing any one can do to honor the memory of fallen friends: to just keep remembering them as they were and what they were and are to us. Time will continue to ebb and flow around us, threatening to loose our grasp of the memories and warmth Amber and Bobby brought us. But the strength that gives us those memories will also help us to never forget the ones we’ve lost.