There may be only five stages (or seven, depending on who you care to believe), but it feels like a hundred when they bounce around through your head and heart, over and under, round and round. The ride is exhausting and you have to keep reminding yourself to breathe in and out, that finding your peace is going to be a long, winding path and you will be weary when you get there.
Denial has been the biggest hurdle…while the intense sadness, the anger, the questioning all come in waves, the denial remains just beneath the surface…it was only when the word “cremated” was used yesterday did the little shard of denial I was holding onto shatter into a million tiny fragments. The little spark of hope that it was all some crazy mistake has finally fizzled out.
If you live in the vicinity of the SF Bay Area, then you’ve undoubtedly read/seen/heard the story. You probably know that hundreds of people attended the candlelight vigil through the Shell Ridge open space on Wednesday evening, that the home of the Miller family was burglarized during Matthew’s funeral service the next day (UNBELIEVABLE) and that there is a fund set up to help the Powells through this difficult time. If not, well then now you are caught up.
Gavin Powell was my bro-in-law’s best friend, as much a part of our family as any blood relation. We already miss him so much…
C, The Boy and I cannot be there in person to attend Gavin’s memorial service tomorrow. I have written a eulogy to be read in my absence and I would like to share it here, also:
“When we moved away from the Herrick home at the end of October, one of the first things I was told when we called to check in was that Gavin had shown up Halloween night dressed as a tree, with branches duct taped all over him. Of course, my immediate response was, “Oh, that’s so Gavin!”
At our house, it’s an oft-uttered phrase, sure to be accompanied by a smile. It means you were just told about something he did that was delightfully inventive, totally absurd or freakishly resourceful and, more than likely, hilarious and awesome. Or perhaps you just spent an hour trying to satiate his insatiable curiosity about any number of subjects or tried to wake him up for dinner after he ran to the top of Mt. Diablo and back.
Whatever inspires you to say “Oh, that’s so Gavin!”…his compassionate nature, his sense of humor, that fabulous carpeted longboard or the way he could put a smile on your face no matter how gloomy the day…we all know that we are better people for having known him. He traveled through life so…un-weighted…and what a lesson there is in that.
I am filled with gratitude to have had a daily dose of Gavin for a year and a half, to have been able to look upon him as another little brother, to have felt protective love and pride in his sweet nature…if there is one more thing “so Gavin,” it’s that he was a constant presence, and his spirit will continue to be so.
The only way I can imagine to salve the pain of his passing is to take the qualities that make him “so Gavin” and continue to share them with the world in my own movement through this life. I will allow my innate curiosity about the world to be rekindled, my own adventurous spirit to be restored and the kindness in my heart to be warmed to the task of practicing selflessness.
Oh, and I’ll try to throw a little extra absurdity and humor into the mix.
And pancakes. Definitely more pancakes.
Here’s to all of us finding the qualities within ourselves that make us so Gavin. It’ll make the world a better place.
Peace out, bro.”
It has been a difficult journey since Sunday afternoon, when I learned the boys were missing…breathe in, breathe out. Hold close your dear ones, my friends.
RIP Matt Miller and Gavin Powell ♥♥♥