Way back in January of 2014, I wrote an essay to help support my friend whose young son, Zak, suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident. The essay was intended to offer hope. Unfortunately, in Zak’s case the injury proved to be too severe and after fighting for some time, he passed away. My friend, his mother, suffered the unimaginable agony that only a parent who has lost a child could possibly comprehend. While no one “deserves” such agony, there are some who are so far removed from the “bad” end of the good/bad continuum that it recalls every single one of those cosmic questions of fairness. Kimmie’s light was bright, so bright that everyone who came into contact with her knew they mattered and counted in some significant and unique way.
Was? Yes, past-tense. Not long after Zak passed, Kimmie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it, won some battles, but eventually the disease took her. She passed away last week. Ramp up that unfairness, call back into question those big cosmic truths, wonder why someone so good can be struck with so much hardship and pain – all of that. It makes no sense. Yet it is only those ethereal notions of what comes next, what is after life, that makes any of this even palatable. We can say that she is back with her youngest son who was only allotted such a short time. It helps, but it flies in direct contradiction to any semblance of fairness. It doesn’t address the pain of those left behind to say nothing of the biggest question: What is the fucking point?
I don’t know. Kimmie was special to me. Our relationship began on a certain trajectory that was deflected when Zak’s accident occurred. I remember the exact moment. However, throughout it all, every day she was in my life, I felt as though we shared something special and unique. I have since come to realize that she shared that with everyone in her life. Each of us was unique, each was special to her in our own way – she had that way about her. We were all special - and felt it. Not everyone can give that, indeed, most cannot. We used to talk about a lot of philosophical stuff, about what, as a species, we don’t know and what we, as a species, think we know, but really don’t. I don’t know about the hereafter, I don’t know if there is one and to date, no one has convinced me there is. But that does not mean there is not.
At most points in my life, not believing in the cosmic, in the unproven and, so far, unprovable, serves me just fine. I don’t need to explain anything beyond what science can. Yet, there are times, like now, when it is comforting to imagine that there are angels. I have written about one such angel before, one whom I choose to believe helped guide me. She, too, was taken too soon and for no good reason. She, too, was a very good person. And she, too, died leaving a whole lot of pain behind. I could not understand it then and I really don’t now. If this is the big preordained “plan,” it is a bad plan. However, some iteration of what might lay beyond is comforting, like it was many years ago. And if such an alternate reality does exist, I can take comfort that there is another angel in my life. And I do not have to “know” anything to know that.