via Facebook
via Facebook

My friend Richard died this week. Tuesday, to be precise. And in light of that precision, he was really my sister’s friend, at least at first. But because we ended up talking across her FB page, we became friends too.

I can’t believe he’s gone. Funny, sly, profane, intelligent & wise, Richard dominated any conversation he took part in. Sometimes you’d have to warn him — these are friends/ family/ kids, Richard! But there wasn’t a truly mean bone in his broken body.

I didn’t know for many months that Richard suffered from a chronic disease, and was bed-ridden. He was so vocal, so active, so ALIVE. And now? He isn’t. And my FB posts are the poorer for his loss.

The beauty of this technological age is friends like Richard. They’re rare, but so very appreciated. Friend of my mind, my liberal Buddhist heart, he kept me honest. Often he’d call BS when I went off on some unsubstantiated rant, finding the source to counter my argument. I can’t tell you how I loved that — Richard was fearless and razor-sharp.

Richard ~ via FB
Richard ~ via FB

Buddhists believe — at least Tibetan ones do — that the soul enters a bardo state after death of the body. Where the soul awaits its next assignment, between lives. I’m not certain I believe in reincarnation, although I’m a pretty passionate Buddhist. What I do believe in is grief… Grieving over the loss of a friend, dear even though I don’t think we ever met face-to-face. I believe that love is worth it, but oh it hurts…

Richard, I wish for you a gentle bardo — the transition between this life and whatever comes after. I wish for you no more pain, the love of your family, knowledge of the joy you gave so many of us w/ your rapier wit and protected, gentle heart. I wish for you peace, dear friend. Peace, love, joy — good hippie values. You’d like that.

And I wish it didn’t hurt to miss you.

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