Bitter-Sweetness Revisited


It’s been one year.

One year since the phone rang on that grim Saturday morning.

One year since my inconsolable family gathered around her unconscious body to weep our unprepared goodbyes.

One year since I was awakened to human mortality and the unsparing, amoral law that is impermanence – thus becoming a consummate adult in mind and spirit.

My aunt’s untimely death was perhaps the most important learning experience I wish I never had to go through.

The day after the funeral – as I boarded a plane for South America – I wrote a few promises.

I’m going to sculpt the world with her vision. I’m going to nurture the weak, find the best in every person I meet, and speak against what I know is wrong. I’m going to laugh a lot. I’m going to drink and eat well. I’m going to read more books.

She may be gone but she feels very much alive. In the trail of her unparalleled kindness, empathy, humor, compassion – she left an imposing wake that will carry across the seas for a duration to come. In everyone she touched, a little part of her glow shines through.

In life she taught me the how to love, in death she taught me how to live. I’m eternally grateful for the perspective her passing gave me. I’ve been compelled to see every glorious day on earth as the transient privilege it is.

I’ve absorbed more life in the past 12 months than I thought possible. And with the bitter awareness that I could be struck from this earth at any moment, each new friend and each conversation, each meal and each beer, each unexpected and blessed opportunity I’ve been granted has tasted all the more sweet.

It’s been one year since I kicked off a bona fide odyssey that continues to gain interest with every new turn. Life – in all its ephemeral glory – has never ceased to astound me.

I thank her.

I miss her.

14 September 2014 – Copenhagen, Denmark 

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