“There is an ache in my heart for the imagined beauty of a life I haven't had, from which I had been locked out, and it never goes away.”
I wasn't going to say anything today, but I kept having this nagging feeling inside that I should. Jonathan always had the right words. He would've thought of something so profound to say. He also probably would've hated the idea of us standing in a cemetery a year later, but I'm sure he appreciates all of us coming together one way or another.
It's been 449 days since Jonathan left us. I know this year has been hard for all of us. There were some dark places along the journey this year, but what keeps me pushing forward is Jon's attitude. He would never have wanted any of us to dwell on our loss. Just keep moving... let yourself be sad, cry... and then fight to be happy. Fight to do all the things he would have done but didn't get the chance to. That's all he would have wanted... all he still wants for all of us. When I stop moving for a second though, and close my eyes, the thought of Jon not being in this world anymore still has the ability to shake me to my core. It will never feel right that he's not in this world, brightening it with his smile, calming it with his words, and igniting it with his talent.
What I've learned is to take him with me. I am forever-changed for having had Jon in my life... for having been loved by him. The reason we miss him so much is because of how much he brought to our lives. We are lucky to have that piece of Jon as a part of us, forever. We are better because of him, in every aspect. Every person we meet will know a better part of us, because we are truly better people for having had Jon in our lives.
Right before he died, Jon was worried about being forgotten. I'm sure he is smiling down on us as I say this now, seeing how silly that was. Mostly what I think he was afraid of was being remembered in the wrong way... in a sad way. Yes, losing Jon is probably the reason all of us know first-hand how short life can be, and how tragic, but (and I struggle with this myself) that's not what he would want us to remember or learn from his time on earth. Make him the reason you know that amazing people exist. Make him the reason you never settle because you know all he would have done if given the chance. Let him be the reminder that true love, true friendship exists. That a person can be stronger than we ever imagined to be possible. That we are all stronger than we think. He was able to do so much in such a short time... to teach us all so much. It would be so wrong to not live these lives we've been blessed with to the fullest.
He lives on in all of us. He is the warmth we feel on sunny days. He is a silly joke that makes us smile to ourselves. He is in our old memories, and we take him with us on every new experience, on every occasion or event he would be at if only this universe made sense. He is the spark of an idea, or a song.
He is the fight inside me, the strength I've built. He is the heart of me, the reason I believe in love. The reason I refuse to settle for less than wonderful. He is the faith I have in myself. Jon is the best part of me.