My day was beautiful, filled with sunshine and hopes for the future, when my son came home and said he had some bad news. I thought he maybe left his job, but instead he said – Al died. At first I did not understand, but then it hit me and my day suddenly drew a big cloud. A 25 year old boy – to me in life’s terms, (committed) suicide.
Al was a man I met at Starbucks, where I would get my Soy green tea late every day, my extravagant indulgence that was hard to brake and that carried great expectations and he would fulfill them invariably. When Starbucks started offering mobil ordering, he would know my name and have it ready as soon as I walked into the store. He would have a look in his eyes that wanted to make sure it was just the way I wanted it, and at the same time he new it was.
When my son started to work at Starbucks he befriended Al and I myself soon turned to him for advice. Al seamed like the man that could cary the world on his shoulders and also keep an eye on a boy that sometimes needed pointing in the right direction. Al assured me he would do that, and I felt more relaxed, I thought I did the right thing but now, I am not sure.
Since receiving the bad news, I have not been able to stop thinking about Al, and in a way, I blamed myself for interfering. What I did not know was that Al carried a burden of deep depression that he would try to alleviate by self medicating himself. AL was fired from his job just before he died, and what my son said it seamed to be because he would give out free drinks to employees, which he was not suppose to do. I suddenly realized that Al was also trying to alleviate his pain by making other people happy and also contradict the authority, which to him seamed threatening to free will.
The funeral was held on another beautiful sunny day. The church was already filled with people, young and old. It was easy to see how many lives were touched by this young man that did not even realized his strength. I finally learned about Al, from the words of his brother and uncle, and they both agreed on one thing. Al was always there to help others and try to sooth their pain. He was always there to let you know that he’s got your back. I saw this in Al, I saw that in his eyes, maybe even on his darkest day, but what I did not realize, that the love that he was able to cary for others, he could not cary for himself. And even though I hardly new him, he really touched my life, and I hope that he is in a peaceful place, right now.
Where Is God?
By Mark Nepo
It’s as if what is unbreakable—
the very pulse of life—waits for
everything else to be torn away,
and then in the bareness that
only silence and suffering and
great love can expose, it dares
to speak through us and to us.
It seems to say, if you want to last,
hold on to nothing. If you want
to know love, let in everything.
If you want to feel the presence
of everything, stop counting the
things that break along the way.