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My blog is a secret even to those people that know me best except for a few. One of those few, my friend Eric M., is gone and he took my secret with him. I still see him here on this blog “following” me and to an extent, it’s comforting. Later you'll see why this blog post is important to me and my healing.
Eric was one of those people that I didn’t talk to everyday but when I did it was like we were best friends and we just started talking where we had left off months earlier. He was one of the few business contacts that was a genuine friend and was truly interested in my garden and beekeeping ventures. He used to call me “mini me” because we had the same interests - I was just happened to be a couple decades behind him. We shared soccer war stories, gardening knowledge and bee sting woes… and then there was business talk but that wasn’t nearly as interesting.
The last time I saw him in person was in Monterey in February at a meeting. He was there doing work for his business and I was there promoting one our member services. We got together for dinner with another coworker. Eric was adamant that I HAD to go to a fish and chips place and really, who was I to argue with fried food? He knew where it was (walking distance) “like the back of his hand” so we all walked together chatting it up. Eric came to the realization that the restaurant was not where he thought it was. We ended up walking maybe 5 miles in the opposite direction but we all had a great time and loved every minute talking and laughing in that nice clean oceanic air. We got to the restaurant and dived into big platters of fried fish and potatoes and washed it down with frothy half ‘n half's per Eric’s suggestion. As we were walking back, Eric gave us a mini-tour of a historical site that he said had the most charming garden but that late hour the gate was locked. The next time I’m in Monterey, I’m going to go to that garden and I know I’ll be both happy and sad.
I’ll really really miss his presence and I find myself hanging out on his facebook page a lot just looking at the comments from his beautiful family and friends, looking through his pictures to see the comments people have made and what he said back. But of course, I really like seeing the ones that I commented on where he commented back. It’s like reliving those conversations in real time all over again.
No one that I’m close with nor even my colleagues knew Eric or even knew that I was friends with him so when I found out that he died, I really didn’t have anywhere to turn because people didn’t understand how much his friendship meant to me. When I explained to my friends and family that I lost a friend it was "yawn...ho hum" because they had never heard me speak of him. That’s the hardest part. And that's why I needed this outlet.
A poem was read at his memorial service and it was beautiful – it makes all of the loss so much more tolerable and definitely not as lonely.
"Death is Nothing At All"
by Henry Scott-Holland
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.
I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.
I’m going to plan my fall garden and have my tea with honey from my bees quietly in honor of my dear friend tonight.