A dear friend of mine passed away today and I just got the news. I keep telling myself I shouldn't cry because he is no longer suffering. I saw him early this month, and I knew he was suffering.
He kept up with his witty wife, quietly injecting responses with the sly look of a mischievous boy that always made him look years younger than he actually was. He had traveled the world and observed cultures, respectfully. He influenced and inspired people with a calmness that was a gift in itself. His spirit was generous in so many ways, I can't even think of specific examples. It was who he was. In Farsi, we have an expression that guests bring light to the house with them. It was never truer than when he entered my home.
I admit that I always did my best to make him laugh, and cherished the time I made him blush. I learned that a couple could be deeply and truly in love from the beginning to the very end. He loved my cooking with an enthusiasm that would inspire anyone to cook up a storm, just to see that smile on his face.
Every time we said good bye, he would say the same thing: "I love you so much and am SO proud of you." I never for a moment thought he said it lightly. The day he told me he would be proud if I were his daughter, I hung up and cried for longer than an expression of love would warrant. For all the negativity in the world, he was always a quiet force of what is possible. Because of him, I try to make sure that everyone knows exactly how I feel about them, just in case it's the last time we speak.
And now he's gone, his suffering is over and he will be missed. I'll miss all the things that I took for granted as a part of the person he was. Of course I mourn his loss but am so, very grateful that I had the chance to know him. I know I'm a better person for it.