Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two years later....

It’s been two years since Alex’s passing and I still can’t hear “Somewhere over the rainbow” without thinking of Alex. It takes me back to the beautiful sunny day in Half Moon Bay where we gathered to celebrate his life, and grieve, together. I still miss my buddy... and though I'm still sad about the loss, whenever I think about him I always see him smiling back at me.

To catch you up…

It was the day after the previous post (URNbelievable) that we received the call that his remains were ready to be picked up. We still had not decided on an urn. A group of us headed over to the funeral home and picked up his remains which were contained in the heart-heaviest 9lb box I ever carried. Until we decided on the urn he was kept in a nice box next to the photobook that Serena had made for him as well as the bio blurb that is now on display in the lab room that was dedicated to him.

All that we could decide on is that we really liked one of the artists. In the end, Maureen from connected us with the artist Laua Bruzzese and we commissioned a piece to be made. The piece captures the memorial location perfectly. From the weathered remains of the tree that long ago lost its life but retained its character, to a wind-blown tree that's still hanging on... and the ocean bluff in between. The blue sky with fluffy clouds gave the piece an uplifting feeling.

To celebrate the one year anniversary itself we made a pilgrimage back out to the memorial site and again reflected on how amazingly fortunate we were to have such beautiful weather for his service.

Each of us took time to remember... to reflect... to mourn... in small groups or alone.

We each took some paper and did what we felt was appropriate with it - some wrote notes, others made origami cranes, and Janet made a picture of an octopus. We then planted some flowers and gathered up for a group photo.

The day did slowly get better and some folks went down to the beach to have a little fun.

As with all of our adventures, the day started and ended with food.

In the end... the day provided each of us what we needed. It allowed us time to reflect... time to be with others who still grieved... and time to continue to heal.

But where do we go from here?
Today it has now been two years and again we will meet up and catch up as we eat. We will have quiet times and plenty of laughter for sure. In the end there is no solution, no defined road to acceptance, no sign-posts saying that now it's time to stop grieving. The pathway to healing... towards acceptance... is a long and very personal one.

For me, nothing can capture Alex and his spirit better than his own writings. This blog of his expresses moments of joy, pain, confusion and determination. For me, as long as this exists I can go back and I can listen to his stories again and again. It is a simple and elegant imprint that he left on the fabric of time which will last long after any of us are around. It is through his writings that I've cried, I've laughed, and I've remembered just how wonderful of a person Alex was... and how much of him that I continue to carry around in me each day.

Written by: Blase B. Iuliano
Edited by: Janet Cheng