Chris died last year. His passing was inevitable, stupid words I suppose, each of us will pass, yet Chris passed too soon for me. Yes I grieved when I heard the news from my father. In the moment I think I grieved more for the feelings I imagined within my father than Chris’s absence caused me. Chris is my father’s best friend of fifty years, his passing hasn’t change that.
I don’t have faith in an afterlife. To me our legacy is the affect we have had on the lives of those that surround us, the memories of us we leave behind in the hearts of loved ones and friends. Chris’s life leaves a rich legacy within me.
When we drove to the church in Pendeen, rain, sleet, gale force winds buffeting us as we drove the narrow coastal roads along the west Penwith coastline. To some the weather might have seemed disappointing, to me it seemed fitting. My best memories with Chris always seem to involve weather, rainy evenings, warm fires, drenched runs, warming hands on fires and shared glanced smiles, knowing the triumph of achieving in-spite of the weather’s efforts to stop us.
I stood behind mum and dad as they looked down upon Chris’s grave. My hand in Jacquelyn’s. My cheeks streaked with salty tears being blown across them as the wind raced across the fields from the Atlantic coast. When it was my time, I knelt down next to Chris and laid my hands on the warm soil, still freshly turned from his burial. My tears fell onto him. I wondered if he was wearing his old blue sweater. I am wearing mine now, hoping to feel a part of him near me.
I picked out a weed already growing in the fresh soil, daring to infringe upon Chris’s place beside the ocean. I left behind a nickle, it was all I had, a piece of me, something to remain close to him. I took a tiny piece of granite from the soil. A piece of Chris’s new home. A piece I can hold on to when I miss him. A piece to replace the sorrow in my heart that his passing has left.
I love Chris, I cant say good bye today.
The view from Pendeen, sustained 40mph winds gusting 60mph, waves +20′.
Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone —
Man has created death.