I’m holding my breath and waiting for his swan song. Though the stanzas of our lives are numerous, some of us race with abandon toward the long silence. He’s among those. Even if we cover our ears to drown out the notes, the subdued and reduced scales will still flow and ebb all around us, whether injurious or nostalgic.
There will be no melodic crescendo nor applause-laden curtain call, of that I’m sure. His symphony will abruptly cease, and the echoes of his efforts will radiate quickly into oblivion. I can feel the tempo and its accelerando, racing impatiently toward the inevitable.
A life will have ended. Each of us who knew him will have our own arrangement, filled with annotations, corrections, and commentary.
As is often the case, many will have reached conclusions and coda without understanding that his life filled with the burden of secrecy. Lives, like harmonies, often gain depth through filter and perspective.
Our facades conceal our secrets; they also conceal us.
We can only make decisions with the information we have. I tried. I failed. But it’s not my failure to own.
I don’t hold myself to accountability, either, in part because his addiction demanded secrecy, anger, and retribution for those peeking inside the fortress of denial.
It’s difficult to stand near the fire without wincing in pain – even in December moments. We draw close to the light for warmth. As we walk away, the warmed fabric which protects us burns.
Life will go on. We’ll claim to have learned our lessons from his exaggerated example. We’ll reflect, hope, and dedicate ourselves to avoiding the same mistakes.
We’ll make them, however. Our humanity requires an ignorant allegiance to forgetfulness. Collectively, we have only a few vices, ones which we ceaselessly abuse to our own detriment.
We’ll recall his presence. Perhaps, in time, even as it fills us with fondness. His melody will be a problematic reminiscence.
Those who lose their arguments with their lesser selves tend to bequeath a series of discordant and minor shards of broken glass for us to decipher.
Walk among them at your own peril.
To he, to him, to me, to we, to us, to you.