Today was the memorial service for a friend of mine who passed away suddenly last week. We’d been in the same treatment program, and he was my upstairs neighbor for two years. He would’ve liked the memorial service, I think–people who’d known and cared about him, sharing memories of him.
I didn’t speak at the service, but the memory that kept coming to me was a summer evening maybe three years ago. A storm was blowing in, with these beautiful, dramatic, roiling clouds. I was lying on the grass in the backyard, watching the sky. He came out too. Most people would’ve looked at me funny and asked what on earth I was doing out there when there was a big storm about to hit, but he understood without saying anything. He lay down in the grass too. First it was just these big, dark clouds, constantly shifting and changing. Then the lightning started, far off. We couldn’t see distinct lightning bolts, just bright flashes in the clouds, bright as day for a moment. Then the rain started, sudden and heavy, but neither of us got up and went inside. We let it soak us so we could watch the storm, feel the energy all around us.
We finally did go in, once the lightning started getting close. But what I remember was lying there in the grass together, watching the storm, not having to explain to him why I was lying on the ground in a storm.
I don’t know why that’s the memory that sticks with me. I don’t think there has to be a reason, really. Just connection and energy.
I miss him.