“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ”
Today, I grieve the loss of a dear soul. My wife’s cousin and my friend, Paul, passed away suddenly today after a valiant fight with the beast we call cancer. It’s a very sad time as I consider that tomorrow, I will see the dawn break, take a breath, and carry on with my day, a privilege denied to Paul.
Today, I think of my recent times with Paul, always aware of the illness within him, but always putting off what may happen tomorrow, till suddenly, tomorrow arrived and he is gone.
I consider the past few years of Paul’s life. Always a caring and deeply ethical person, he spent his last years largely rejected by the people who claimed to be his friends and support. Namely, the church he attended. The people who should have been his refuge and strength distanced themselves and put him down when all he sought was acceptance and caring. His church community took away everything that Paul cared for and gave him purpose. It makes me even sadder knowing that this situation went on, unresolved and my hope is that those who sought to harm him consider what they did to him.
For myself, I will miss his sense of humour, genuine caring, and commitment to anything he undertook. And while he may not always have had a bright smile on his face, he was a beautiful soul and the world is a lesser place with his passing.
I chose one of my recent paintings to share in Paul’s honour. The painting, named “Distant Shores” reminds me that we will meet again, though we don’t know where or when, but that meeting will be joyful.