Recently, someone I knew died. I say someone I knew because I don’t know that I could call him a friend. I don’t know that the word acquaintance is adequate to describe our relationship. What I realized as I tried to rationalize the depths of my grief is that this person had touched me, far more than I had acknowledged. The fact that he was somewhere out there, living his life, had made me happy, even though I hadn’t seen him in years. I didn’t know what he meant to me, until he was gone. The pain of this loss has caught me by surprise.
What a life this man lead. Full of exhilaration, triumph, tragedy, and joy. He accomplished things that no one else on Earth, literally, has matched. I can only imagine the magnificence of the views he pondered, the depth of his struggles, and the victories he celebrated. I admired him. I was thrilled to read about his adventures. I felt heartache when a peak or summit moved just out of his grasp. He touched so many people, had so many adventures, and yet remembered to work on himself and his practice. He was humble, and shy, and funny, and graceful. The man was a marvel, physically and philosophically.
Despite my sadness, I’m glad he died living his life fully. From a philosophical place, I know that life is short and meant to be fully realized. But oh this ache. The tears that are just a casual thought away. Saying good-bye and letting go is very hard. So very hard. You’ll be missed CK.