Losses in Life 9.2.14 / by Emily Holmes

I don't even know where to begin. I've been absent. At least with this blog. And my life seems so full with good and bad events of late. I think I last wrote about having Jables leave us. It was a sad time, both watching his decline and accepting the inevitable fact that I was losing one of my closest friends. That said, I feel like a couple other losses equally hit me.

I don't want to be one of those "cry at celebrity death" types, but the Robin Williams suicide gave me pause. Not so much for him, but for what it brought up for me. You see, I had an equally crazy, generous, intelligent, overbearing and bigger-than-life former boyfriend who also hanged himself. After my ex and I broke up, we never really spoke again. His energy and the instability of our relations was too much for me. My life worked without him in it. He reached out once or twice and I considered reacquainting, but I was still scared and cautious of what the mayhem it could wreak for me, so I replied with silence.

Three months after moving to Los Angeles (where I was fairly calm knowing I wouldn't bump into him on the street), I got a call from a dear friend at 7 in the morning. I can't remember if it was then or earlier. It felt unnaturally early. The kind of calls you get by east coasters who don't know you moved to California or the ones that deliver bad news. This was the latter. My friend wanted me to hear it from her. I responded - honestly - that I'd been waiting for this kind of call about him for some time.

It's strange to feel like you know someone won't live a long life. Perhaps they shine too brightly or burn hotter than most. In my opinion, you can't sustain that. What was a sad story made even more tragic. I still hope he's at peace, or if you're not into the spiritual stuff, that he found what he needed right before he took his life.

I watched the memorials pour in on the web. He was clearly loved and terribly missed. I'm sure some of the women (in particular, being that my ex was a bit of a ladies man) had similar experiences with him to my own and maybe they moved on from it, or maybe they too chose silence. I'll never know and it doesn't matter now anyway. I always try to see the goodness in his soul and heart and know that the battle he fought every moment of his life eventually overtook him.

Sadly, this past week I was once again to hear of an old friend, a vibrant light of a person, had also passed. It is unclear if it was the result of a medical condition or by her own hand. All I know is it was sudden. And frankly, it doesn't matter how it happened.

I remember the last time I was in Austin, I returned to her home, the one where I'd stayed many times in days past, the great times I'd had smoking cigarettes and drinking Diet Cokes for breakfast with her in the back yard. Her infectious smile. Her clear, light blue eyes. Her crazy schemes. Her openness and generosity. She was amazing. And like anyone with all that larger-than-life energy, she was definitely not the run of the mill woman or mother. Some may say crazy. I might say crazy from time to time, but kind and good to me over the years.

She no longer lived in that house, and I didn't know where she moved. I asked about her to the new residents, but they kind of blew me off. I would likely do that too if some stranger was in my yard asking about the previous owners.

I hope both of them are at peace, truly being themselves without limitations or the hardship that this world seemed to grant both of them.

On a less final note, I'm sending Riley off to preschool for the first time this week. This is a big milestone, for us all. I was saying just this morning that while I know it's time and that she's going to grow so much from this experience, that I hope she doesn't change too much. She's been so loving and snuggly and close lately. It's this closeness that I know will change and alter as she gets older and pulls away from Mama to embrace the world and her new friends. It's this change I fear and also accept is coming with a sense of melancholy. I wish for her joys and growing pains and hope to all the joy in the Universe that she doesn't ever come to a point where the world seems too much for her, like it was for my friends who also lit up rooms with their presence. I can only let go and be there along the way. For each growth comes a loss of something to make room for it. So here's my losses in life of late and I'm trying to be open for what is coming...