Written Febuary 2, 2006
In your absence, I found your light.
It took several days of tears
and one or two nights;
Then it came to me
and I saw how your death would change my life.
I saw your legacy in my vision.
I saw the vision you left behind in the hearts
of all the people you touched.
I saw your heart in the photos of your smiling face
and I saw your face in the memories of your days.
I saw your days, on the soccer field, in front of the camera,
On the median with Dr. Suess; and I saw your spirit.
In your spirit, I found meaning.
I found laughter and I found intelligence.
In your intelligence, I found your hopes and dreams;
I found a young man who wanted to explore the world
And share what he found with everyone else who
might not have thought to discover what you can’t see;
to touch what you can’t feel; to live what you only imagined.
In your absence, I remember your light:
in the smiles you shared across the hall;
in the unique way you expressed yourself;
in your obvious drive to be you.
You made yourself vulnerable to the world but had no fear.
You walked your own walk and talked your own talk
and in doing so, gave confidence to others.
By your example of your individuality, you let others know
It was okay to be different;
To be the person you are, no apologies.
What a wonderful gift.
Now you’ve left this world.
And in your absence, I suspect I’ve been selfish, thinking of what I lost
when you died; thinking of my pain and my aching heart;
Thinking of your family and those loved ones left behind,
feeling sorry that you didn’t get to live your life past 16.
I’ve been pondering what I’ll miss in the future because
you won’t be here to live that example for me.
You won’t be around for me to observe and admire.
And I suspect while I was focusing on being sad, I failed to recognize what you gave me.
In you, I’m learning how to fend for myself.
In your honor, I’m going to strive to be a better person,
to live my life to the fullest; to expect more from my existence;
I’m going to remember how short and precious life is.
Though I never met you,
I’m going to miss you.
In your absence, I’ve found your light
I’m so glad you left some of it behind.