Out of respect and privacy, I’ve changed the names of some of the individuals in the following post.
It is Sunday afternoon, and just a few hours ago, I learned that my dear, long-time friend Shane committed suicide yesterday.
When I received the news from Mike, I was stunned, went into shock and disbelief, and was quickly filled with a myriad of emotions and thoughts.
And perhaps because of where I was at the time – the Centre for Spiritual Living Victoria – and had just finished meditation, with our weekly service about to start, it was challenging to process the news by honouring my emotions and thoughts as they flowed, knowing in just a few minutes I’d need to continue with my volunteer duties at the Centre as service began.
So as the tears flowed out, I let them. As the waves of sadness hit, I let them. And as the love from those around me, and within me poured out during service, and after, I let it. And I continued to let everything flow as it did; it was the best place I could’ve been to receive this devastating, heart breaking news.
My face still hurts from crying (tears come and go as I write this post), and my head aches, but I’ve had a few hours to process, we’re home now, and here’s what’s come through:
- I’m so grateful to Mike for letting me know of this news so soon after it happened. Shane, Mike and I go way, way back, but because they live in a different city, we only get to see each other in person once or twice every couple of years. Beyond that, it’s Facebook, the odd email, and sporadic blog piece. But both of them hold such a special place in my heart.
- I’m also grateful to Mike for getting in touch because I know how many people Shane knew, how many lives he impacted through his many creative endeavours, and that he leaves behind a life partner with two daughters – all of whom love him so much. And now all of those people need to be notified of this sadness. No small endeavour for those involved…
- I’m so grateful for the oodles of memories I have of Shane – our time at the campus radio station; his introducing me to the music, poetry and artistry of Tom Waits; his love of all things Elvis Costello; our awesome motorcycle rides; him trying to teach me how to drive a motorcycle; him being impressed with my tiny vinyl collection the first time he came over; going to hundreds of gigs around town; his love for and extensive knowledge of music; dinners at High Level Diner; grilled cheese sandwiches; going to the rep cinema; his many, many stories about bizarre happenings in his life that sounded made up – they were that bizarre; his love for his new family and being a father figure; how incredibly smart he was; how much he loved reading and writing; marvelling at how much he knew about so many topics; his visit with us in Toronto when Mylana was just 2 years old, and him being smitten with her from the get go; I could go on…
- I’m also grateful believing he’s at peace. For many years, I’ve felt Shane was tormented in some way, struggling to find a place in this world. So when he finally found happiness a few years ago with his fiancée and her two daughters, I was over the moon for them all! The heart break and sadness (along with so many other emotions) they must all feel now are a testament to the impact Shane had, and continues to have on their lives.
- Most of all though, I’m so incredibly grateful for my family, my friends, and my community, which includes the Centre for Spiritual Living, along with the path I’m on to Practitioner and Ministerial Studies. It’s through this community, the mental and spiritual work, and the faith that comes with all of it that reminds me every moment of every day I am loved, I am supported, and I am always taken care of – even when circumstances and conditions seem to indicate otherwise.
I was so looking forward to the day Shane and I could have a big, fat juicy discussion about the Science of Mind and its teachings, because I knew the academic in him would find it fascinating, even if his nihilistic tendencies might want to dismiss it completely. If anything though, I thought many times if anyone I knew could benefit from this philosophy, it’d be my friend Shane. Because to learn, know, and then really believe that one is loved, one is supported, and one is always taken care of – NO MATTER WHAT – is what eventually ends up turning torment into relief, and then relief into inspiration.
And although Shane would have still chosen when he left this realm (we all do), I suspect he would’ve been around for a lot longer, and his time here would’ve been less volatile, and even inspired…!
In this moment, I am so thankful for his friendship, for my many memories, and in knowing he is now at peace. His presence is still and will continue to be felt forever. And even though he may not answer me back, I’m starting my conversation with him today, and continue to send him infinite amounts of love, always.
Rest in peace my friend. I love you.