All the friends I used to see…

Much of Owen’s life can be explained, illustrated, experienced through music.  I think that is true of so many of us who love music in a way that transcends our day-to-day lives.  We share this medium because it speaks to us, in ways we can’t…face-to-face.

Owen’s playlists allow us both pain and pleasure.  Much as sitting in an art gallery and looking at paintings…some of us will see pain, some pleasure.  I see both…in each and every painting, in each and every song.

I see Nat and Owen playing in the backyard, climbing the tree behind the house on Fair Street.  Dave nailed wooden steps into the trunk of the tree, so the boys could have a view from above.  Above our house, above our yard, above our lives.  Nat could climb faster and higher.  Owen followed, as a younger brother would, and did, and settled into the branches, alongside Nat.  Nothing is “Fair” now.  But, for those moments, those afternoons…they saw together, something the rest of us will never truly grasp.  They saw their world from above.

Nat and Owen were children of divorce; of parents who grieved for what might have been; of grandmothers (both grandfathers were dead by the time they were born); and of one loving stepfather; who all gave as much as they (we all) had.  We did our best to make homes together and apart.

All of us are members of a larger family, the family of humankind.  And, as such, we see our fates displayed before us, as no one else sees them.  Nat sees his.  Owen saw his.  And, we see ours.  I don’t believe any of us imagined we would live this particular life, one without Owen, at this very early stage.  But, no one in our family ever imagined George W being president, either.  Go figure.

We can’t know our futures.  We can only hope they will be better than our worst fears.  Since one of our worst fears has come to pass, we know, without question, that we have no control.  We have only the pursuit of hope, and unknowable futures.

Our family was fortunate in having friends and family who understood our hopes and fears.  Or, so we thought.  It’s an amazing thing to see who is still here with us, who has abandoned us and talking with us, and, ultimately, who is remembering with us.  For those who have disappeared, it’s not their fault, that they can’t face our loss.  To face it, would be to acknowledge that it could happen to them.  Who would want to look into our eyes, and see the sadness that precedes our words?

Owen loved this song, and it is both appropriate and disturbing, to those of us left behind.  We love the fact that he was not afraid.  “All my lovers were there with me…there was nothing to fear, and nothing to doubt.”

Song for the night:  Radiohead, Pyramid Song

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~ by Linda on September 18, 2007.

2 Responses to “All the friends I used to see…”

  1. So much could be said, but it is so late. I imagine that if we COULD know what the future holds, we wouldn’t want to. Knowing would be FAR more frightening than NOT knowing. And you are so right. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned from death, is the fact that we have so little control…over anything really. Death is the last enemy. But we are victorious, even over death, because it is not the end. If death was the final word, then evil would prevail. But it is NOT the final word. Listen for more words…
    You are also perceptive about those who can no longer journey by your side. What has happened to Owen reminds them of their own mortality, and what has happened to you, assures them that it could happen to them. Those who have not looked death in the face are not sure they can survive it. And so they would rather continue on, within a bubble of false security. Perhaps they wonder if death is contagious, or possibly brought on by bad luck. Never mind, just as long as it can’t touch them…or their children…or friends. Death is best avoided, just in case it is communicable. But as you said, they cannot help themselves. They cannot look in your eyes of sorrow, without feeling pain themselves. But there are some who will risk even that, to journey with you. Those are the truest of friends.

  2. Why is it that we, as a collective, always come back to family? We spend our entire lives trying to do better, be more together, make a difference for someone in our family. What does it get us?

    Nothing! And, everything!

    Nothing, because family expects nothing. It demands nothing. Family asks only that we are there. There, during the best of times, and the unspeakable times.

    Our home has always been open for the best of our childrens’ times. And it has always been a place of harbor during the difficult times. Every one of our, collective, five children have been here for both.

    We love our friends, and we hope they are in it with us. But if they can’t hang, please believe us. We understand!

    We have our family, and for now, that is all that matters.

    THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

    Good night Owen.

    Love Dad

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