Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The Dead We Know
Eric was a dreamer. Most people thought he was slow but he had a huge heart and I think his naive kindness made people think he was not as intelligent as he was. He was easily led by other people and he got mixed up in things he shouldn't have, probably in part because of his laid back and simple nature.
One time in middle school a teacher asked him if he had a homework assignment and he started to dig in his backpack, throwing pieces of paper all over the floor. His book bag was literally crammed to the brim with wrinkled paper. We were all astounded. It was like Mary Poppin's bag, the crushed paper wads were never ending. He slowly uncrumpled each piece, occasionally looking at my teacher with an amused and embarrassed smile that said, "I can tell you are annoyed and I am kind of enjoying this but please don't give me detention."
Eric died suddenly, he was shot by someone who was supposedly his close friend. I was told that it involved drugs. When I found out about his death I cried bitterly. He was innocent and simple and his life ended so savagely and in such a dark place. Even though I did not know him well, I had this irrational wish that I could have protected him somehow, sheltered him from the world.
Eric appeared in my dream the other night. He was the same - simple and kind. But he was also different. He was as child-like as ever but wise at the same time. He seemed to see everything, to be aware of everything, in a way he never was before. And his eyes told me that he knew true Love now, that he was in a place of rest.
As we enter November, the month where Catholics pray for all souls in the state of Purgatory (those souls being cleansed before they enter into full communion with God in Heaven), I am remembering the friends and family close to me who have died.
I remember Elinor and Charles Shea, the matriarch and patriarch of the Shea family who are looking down at all of us from heaven with a smile.
I remember Paul and Phil Noble, two men I wish I had known better.
I remember parents of friends - Gabe, Brooke, Anne, Marilene, Angela, Teresa and Lucie - who have died.
I remember Eddie and Caia, two people who died too soon.
I remember Joe, my friend who also died too soon and whose death deeply affected me - it was one impetus that caused me to reevaluate my own life and eventually convert back to a faith in God.
I remember Stubby, another sweet and simple soul gone too soon who smiles down at me from heaven, healed and whole.
I remember everyone who has died and I hope that when I get to heaven, they all will be there to spend eternity with God.
If you would like me to include someone you love in my prayers this month, please comment on this post with their name or message me on Facebook.