Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October. I Miss You.

I miss you

Amidst all of the Fall fun- the pumpkin patches and changing leaves, hay rides and Halloween- October is always a weird month for me. Five years ago Hank and I lost one of our very best friends, and every year when that day rolls around I am right back there, sitting next to Hank as we got that call. It was one of those moments that stick out so vividly in my mind- it's still so real and sharp, and if I think too much about it, I can feel like I'm right back there, in our tiny apartment with the phone ringing, ringing. It was the kind of phone call where you can see the person's face change as the speaker on the other end tells them what they have to tell- the kind of phone call where you immediately know something is wrong.

I can still remember the day before when I saw Kendall at the library. We confirmed our plans for later that night, we hugged, and I told him I loved him. I didn't know everything that was going on in his life right then- all I knew was that he'd been acting weird and was starting to drift into a new circle. We still saw him regularly. He was our "little brother" and would eat dinner with us, pop over after school, run around the track with me at night- but things had become different that summer. New people and new interests pulled him away from our regular group of friends, but none of us really had a true grasp on what was going on. That next day after the library when the phone rang and Hank's Dad told us that he thought the boy he just got a call about was Kendall, it didn't seem real even though that moment is now one of the most real moments of my life. I can still feel that hollow feeling in my throat that traveled down, down all the way to the pit of my stomach, and sat there, heavy like a rock. It didn't seem right that our Kendall was just gone. He was one of the special ones, the kind of person that lit up rooms and had the most contagious smile. No way. Not him. For days I had a strange hope that he'd pop back up, knock on our door and say "hey guys, it's me, just kidding!" But of course that wouldn't happen.

There's so many spaces in our life that should have been filled by Kendall. Our wedding, the birth of Henry, a million hangouts with all of our friends. Shows. Trips to Phoenix. I think about him often and wonder what life would be like if he was still around. And this month he's especially on my mind. There's something about the crisp air that takes me back to those days following his death; something about that feeling of fall that reminds me of so much more than just a new season.

And so in October I think about him. I think about how sometimes people have things going on inside of their head that we can have no idea about, even though we think we know them so well. I think about life, and death, about Henry's birth and about being a parent. I think about everyone I love. I think about friends that have come and gone, and I think about the people I couldn't bear to lose. Growing up and growing old, and everything in between. And October reminds me of that. The good, the bad, and how truly, truly fragile it all is.

I don't really know why I'm writing about this today. I haven't written about it in a few years, and I sat down to write about my day and this came out instead. So then I went to Kendall's old band's Myspace and sat and smiled and listened to all of the songs we used to sing along to, and I laughed to myself remembering that same funny look he'd get every time they'd play that In My Eyes cover. Funny and serious and so intense. Life is weird isn't it? It's so, so shitty sometimes. But then it can be immeasurably beautiful. I still don't understand the whys and I know I never will, but I do know that if Kendall was here, he'd be trying to make everyone around him as happy as possible. That's just what he did. He took all those shitty parts of life and made them good, blue eyes twinkling with that smile on his face. 5 years, and I miss you friend.

23 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know exactly what you mean about seasons bringing memories back so strongly. It's like there's memory at some physical, cellular level that is stirred up by the exact angle of the light and the temperature of the air. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss. This post is a beautiful tribute to him. Blessings to you as you remember him and remember all the great memories you do have with him.

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  3. so sad and so touching. life can be really shitty sometimes and also immeasurably beautiful. so well said and such a sweet tribute to your friend. xoxo

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  4. .... What a post...!! I am crying now... I am very sorry for what happened to him and you guys...How beautiful things you wrote about your friend and about how beautiful and fragile life is... We are going through a hard time right now with our oldest son... with his health... but we are trying to be positive and thinking that he will be alright! So reading this reminds me of how we need to enjoy every breath, every step, every second...
    Thank you Danielle! Hugs!!!

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  5. I probably didn't need to read this at work! I lost a friend last summer and it is still so surreal. So sorry for your loss, even five years later <3

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  6. I'm sorry for loss of your dear friend. It really is true that nothing can prepare your for news like that or what to do in the years and milestones that follow. In my mind, one of the best things we can do is remember all the beauty the people we've lost have brought to our lives.

    I expected to feel quite sad about my husbands father not being able to be at our wedding a few weeks ago - he passed away of lung cancer last February, but while of course there was a touch of sadness, I remember walking down the aisle and seeing the place where he would have been and thinking back on the last time I saw him and the way he said "I love you, girl" before we had to head back home, and just smiling to myself about how lucky I am to have known him, even if it was just for a few short years.

    It's hard to ask for much more in this world than to be remembered for the happiness we've brought to the lives of the ones we love.

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  7. My condolences. I'm not great at writing these, but... well wishes your way.

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  8. I can only imagine how good it feels to write about this and get some of those thoughts and feelings out. I think that remembering him in this way and sharing him with us is the perfect way to honor him.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, even after all this time.

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  9. Sending warm wishes to you & your family. I am currently going thru this <3

    Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and your alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
    ― Dean Koontz, Odd Hours

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  10. i'm sorry for your lost. i believe that he knows he still lives in your heart :)

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  11. sending you a huge hug, so sorry for your lost, but at least you had the fortune of be part of his life and be good friends

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  12. I'm so sorry! Losing a person so close to you, a best friend, someone you call a brother, is the worst. I'm glad that when you think of him you smile and laugh.
    ~Sara

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  13. i'm so sorry for your loss. this was a sad but heartwarming post. it is so hard to loose such a close person in your life. just remember and cherish the memories of the times you spent with him

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  14. i know how that can feel. holidays are never the same. i hope you enjoy your october nonetheless.

    romantically challenged

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  15. I know exactly how you feel. It's so unreal yet, absolutely heartbreaking. My mom died 5 1/2 years ago and, just like you said, I still think she is just going to pop back into our lives and yell "just kidding!" It's weird to think that but 5 years is really not that long and the ache that you feel seems to rest so deep in your heart that it will never go away. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  16. I do understand how you feel. Just remember the good old times...I dread September in my case....when I lose one of my dear friend and even till this day it bring alot of memories...as though it just happen yesterday but 2 decades had past.

    **hugz**

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  17. It's funny how sometimes you just identify with people... just like that. I've been reading your blog maybe way before Henry was even born and I've never felt like commenting for many different reasons - because we don't know each other, because I live VERY far away, etc. And I'm not going to lie and say I've never felt like saying something here.. because we're so alike in so many things..
    And then today, it's 3am and I can't seem to sleep. I open your blog and I read this text.
    The minute I finished it I noticed I was crying. Mainly because you expressed so well what I have been feeling these days.
    I lost my dad and my ex-boyfriend both in the same month within days apart from each other last year. It's still hard to grasp the idea that they're not around and that I may never see them again.
    And then you wrote that so beautifully and made me feel better about the things I'd been feeling.

    I just want to say thank you for sharing such an intimate feeling and for making us realize we're not alone in moments like this. That we feel the same and that eventually we'll understand that things have a purpose in life as well as people. And as for those people we lost so unexpectedly, their role in this world was to brighten it for a while and leave a mark on those who loved them in a way that they remember why life is so precious and worth of living.

    Thank you.

    xx

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  18. I'm so so sorry for your loss! I totally relate to your feelings...

    Feel hugged. xo.

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  19. He was such a great guy, I always liked him a lot. We weren't really friends, but he was definitely one of those people that was just friendly to everybody - even the awkward super shy girl that had a kind of not so subtle crush on him (those eyes!) throughout most of high school. :) This definitely made me cry, and I'm very sorry you lost such a great friend.

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  20. Oh man, all i remember about that day is seeing you with Jon. My heart broke. So many happy thoughts your way, and so so sorry for y'alls loss. And those blue eyes <3

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  21. Whoa. Tearing up as I read your post. Every November 5, I go through the same thing. Six years now. It's just so hard to lose a friend. Sending a hug your way....

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  22. This made me cry. Death is a terrible, tragic reality. I hope with all my heart that those have passed still exist in some peaceful, happy, capacity. Beyond simply our memories. All the best to you and Hank.

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