A year isn't a long time, it's simply enough time for everything to change. I've written at length about losing my friend Dave, about the ongoing process of creating a short film about one of my favorite memories with him, and about the lessons I've learned in moving forward. The truth is that it's still difficult sometimes, not just because Dave is gone, but because death changes those who are left to deal with it. It sent a ripple through our small group that pushed us in different directions, revealed some unfortunate truths, but ultimately made us all a bit stronger.
Dave passed away a year ago today. The first year is really an awakening to all of the things missed. You can't help but make comparisons and think about where you were, the things you had talked about, or the random moments that suddenly seem profound when tracing a year of firsts without that person present. My disconnect from living outside of Regina has only made the experience feel more foreign at times. I don't immediately think about Dave not being there, I see something or hear something that reminds me of how long it's been and I can easily kid myself into thinking that it's just because I'm overdue for a road trip back to Saskatchewan.
Everything didn't suddenly become worse, it just became different. I sometimes wonder if things wouldn't have continued to change as rapidly if Dave were still around anyway. The fading influences of university life, friends moving, discovering new values, and finding it harder to connect are parts of growing older. Dave's death just became an obvious bookend and catalyst for us to all look at things in a new light. I think it would've been weirder if we didn't all become a bit skewed because of it.
I've gained perspective over the last year. I've enjoyed getting to know Wendy and Darwin better. Darwin especially has reinvented some of my memories, simply because it's easy to see pieces of Dave's persona in him as he grows. I've naturally found a lot to be thankful and appreciative for in coming to terms with losing such a close friend. And still, I think what I'm longing for most is a sense of purpose from it all.
I'd love my friends to all be optimistic and forward thinking, and to have that be something new we could all rally around. I want our past to still hold meaning as we continue building our lives, especially with the great distances between us. And most, I'd love to know that Dave's death wasn't the beginning of the end for our group, but a reason for us to reinvent it. I'd like to think that's what's happening, but I say it knowing how much effort needs to be made to sustain it.
Looking at this picture of our film school crew from 2009, myself on the left and Dave on the far right, it hit me how few group meet ups like this we actually pulled off. It really is unfortunate that we live so far apart these days, as it's easy to miss stuff like this as soon as you realize what it would take to make it happen again.
Things took a new course a year ago. I'm okay with that now. It's made me see the value of my life in ways that I hadn't been forced to consider before. I just want those of you who I knew when I was younger, those who I knew as a student, those who I grew up with, those who I'm still close to - I want you all to know how much I appreciate your friendship. I want you to know that whether we're as close as we used to be or not, I'd still be there for you if you ever needed me. The reality is that it's an undervalued bond, and losing that connection is akin to losing a piece of what made me who I am today. I can see that now.
I stand by all of the promises I've made to you in your passing Dave, and hope that you'd agree that I've had your interests at heart when it mattered most. My focus is on the next chapter now. I know there's still lots for me to discover and part of that comes from saying goodbye. I'm ready for the new adventures ahead.
"So come over, just be patient, and don't worry"
-Death and All His Friends, Coldplay