Saul Williams once wrote, “Only believers in death will die.”
I had to think about this . . .
If it were up to us, our loved ones would never pass. No one would ever become sick, or suffer a minute of sadness or pain. If it were up to us, we would always remain friends. No one would ever leave, and if they did, nobody would ever part on bad terms.
Unfortunately, it is not up to us.
We were young once. We ran as fast we could. We screamed as loud as we could, laughed as loud, we lived as much, and we loved as hard as we possibly could.
This is life in the eyes of a young man. This is the fleeting but brilliant moments of youth. We never thought about tomorrow because tomorrow was too far in the future. There was no need to plan ahead; not when youth is on your side.
I knew you then.
You were tall with long legs, a freckled nose, a big smile, and you were never afraid to laugh out loud. We were wild together. We dared the edge more times than once, and we laughed each time we did.
I suppose we laughed because we were too young to understand the aftermath of consequences. We were too young to understand the long-lettered terms of adulthood.
At the age of 16, you had around 9,490 tomorrows in your pocket. That’s how many days fit into 26 years. I refer to the age of 16 because this is when our paths began to split. You went off in your direction and I went off in mine, only I was 17 at the time.
And the edge . . .
The edge we dared was a tumultuous thing.
I cannot explain why fate sends us into different directions, only to overlap our paths, and reconnect us at different times in our life. I suppose this is so we learn from each other and see how much we’ve grown.
(Or how much we haven’t)
I understand the contract you signed.
I know because I held the same pen myself. In exchange, the demons we bargained with had ways to soften the interest. In exchange, however, we signed away too much.
We lost our truth to the lies that we wished were never true, and falling deeper, it seemed you fell too far to ever believe you could turn around and come back again.
And the edge . . .
The edge we dared seemed to be the only understandable thing.
But the edge comes with a dependable dependency, which no one else understands. In exchange, it suffocates the life of our surroundings. It alienates us—it causes us to do unthinkable things to those we love most. But deep down—this was not you. I knew you.
You were lost in the whispers of a voice that tricked you with terrible lies about unfortunate truths.
I know this.
Feeling irredeemable is blinding. It blinds us to the love we are given and it cripples the love, which we try to give away.
I am not sure where you are now. I am not sure if you can hear my voice or if you can see what has happened since you left. I am not sure if you can read the outpouring messages or hear how people speak about you.
Then I came across this quote: “Only believers in death will die.”
I cannot say where you are now and you cannot tell me. Your mistakes are behind you, and there is peace in this. My only sadness is that your life ended without you understanding your value. And you did have value, my friend. You meant more than you know—until now.
Only believers in death will die.
I believe we will all die more than once, only to return, and be reborn again
I believe death is only a release into the birth of light, and in the afterlife, after our sun sets and we slip into the nightfall, we will awaken the next morning on the doorstep of paradise.
I imagine this:
Your hair is slightly long. Your smile is wide with that little space between your front teeth.
You are young again.
You look exactly as I remember and the life behind your eyes has returned to its original brightness
I imagine your laugh, which is a laugh I will never forget.
This is how I will remember you
Sleep well, Tommy.