Alan died this morning at 3:47 am. On his girlfriend’s birthday. She was there and held his hand as he left us.
While there is no perfect death, I am so very grateful that in the end he went quickly. His lingering between life and death relatively short in the grand scheme of things. And I am grateful he was surrounded by the love of a woman who loved him. I am grateful that in the end, he left us while holding the hand of someone who loved him dearly.
I am going to miss him so much. His drive, his passion, his interests, his compulsions, his love of life. He was an intoxicating soul. His love of life and music and photography contagious. He lived his life seeking guidance, divine and other. For some things, he was passionate and with others addicted. He jumped wholeheartedly into his passions and flailed around in things he was addicted to. Always seeking to improve the circumstances of his existence so as to improve those around him.
He was a complicated man. He, just like all of us, added great joy and purpose to his life and he also fucked it up. He worked hard not to but like all of us he sometimes got it wrong. I know he had regrets. Things and situations that he wished he had handled differently. People who he loved but not enough or in the right way. We would talk about that, about how despite our strong, sincere desire to love freely and give with integrity and commitment, we still fucked it up way more than we wanted to.
I lost my friend today. The world lost a loving, kind soul who really only wanted to experience life to the fullest. He wanted to live and love and soak up all the beauty life has to give. He was a kindred spirit on the path.
I feel only a little slighted, there wasn’t enough time for me to say all the things that I wanted to say or learn all the things he could have taught me. While I treasure all that I got, I too am addictive in my quest for intimacy, love and spiritual evolution, so I am left with a desire for more.
And this is perhaps his greatest legacy with me, to sit at that place where you want more, but must make peace with what you have. To love fully the place where your life takes you, weather the painful lessons and still continue to move towards the light. Pain is here to teach us just how alive we are, how beautifully wretched being alive can be.
Here is what I absolutely know:
I loved this man. I am grateful for all the ways he touched my life. I am a better person for knowing and loving him. I will never, ever forget the kindness in his eyes as I stood by his bedside last Saturday. My hands on his arm, he woke from his pre-death slumber, looked deeply into my eyes and said “I love you.” And I knew that it was true. He did. I told him, “I love you too my friend.” And he knew that it was so. Two souls along the path whose lives were better for having been intertwined.
I am going to miss seeing him but I know that I can visit him always, because that moment when you look directly into the eyes of another soul lasts forever. I am going to remember Alan by trying to do that more. Look deeply at the souls in my life and remember to tell them how very much I love them...
I miss you already my friend. I pray that wherever you are you are reunited with Ravi and that the two of you are seated in a great hall, Buddhas all 'round with his music softly building in the background. Lifted up, ascending ever closer to Nirvana, one simple breath at a time, on the path...forever.
And this is how I will remember him always, in that hat, somewhere in the hills of sacred land, walking the eternal path toward enlightenment...
For you Alan:
May I know myself forgiven for all the harm I may have thought and done, May I accomplish this profound practice of phowa, and die a good and peaceful death, And through the triumph of my death, may I be able to benefit all other beings, living or dead.