A Fireman died last week. He fell through a sky light. Not a framed out skylight but a plastic variegated skylight that matched the texture of the metal building’s roof he was walking on to check for signs of a fire. There was a grand public processional which slowly wound through the streets of Denver, Colorado. I turned on the news expecting to see the processional as the main story on the news, but that did not happen, and I realized that the world failed to stop because of his death. I noticed the same thing when my brother died. The news coverage continued with fresh new stories, the world continued to turn and time marched forward with its ever changing, ever moving landscape. I have to admit that I was a bit sad, sad for the family, sad for myself. I guess I wanted the world to pause and morn the tragic sacrifice, but it was not to be. He will be memorialized on a bronze statue in downtown Denver. His family will be given a cold, heavy, check from the fire department, and life will eventually find a way into their hearts, as it always does.
When someone you love dies or disappears from your life, part of your heart is cut out. It is never replaced. When I think about my loved ones who have passed on my heart still aches like it was yesterday. I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes and a lonesome ache pulsates in my chest. Life finds a way to continue, and I have learned many things from death but I still long to sit and talk with my brother. I still miss him and I still love him with every fiber of my being. I still believe that he was a special gift to this world and to me. I still wish I could have taken his place so he could have lived for a couple more years on this earthly sphere. But that was not meant to be and I am the one who was passed the baton of life and asked to continue the race on this round ball of dirt. I am the torch bearer who must continue. I am reminded of this when someone from the community dies and I feel so strongly for the fireman’s family. I weep for them and I know that life will eventually find a way back into their hearts. Life resides inside me but it temporarily steps aside, so that I can mourn with those who mourn.