The Loss of Life

By Michael Armijo

   I was very close to my family. I loved them with all my heart. I no longer see any of them. One day I woke up and felt that they had abandoned me. And then I drove them further away by sharing my experiences with the world. I am hurt by the loss of their lives.

   The day I opened up to my father I began a real relationship with the one I feared the most. Although I never had his complete love, I somehow gained his respect by my success and aggressiveness. After we began our journey of becoming emotionally close, one dark night I found him lifeless on the hallway floor. I am hurt by the loss of his life.

   When I met him five years ago, he spoke of fairness and honesty in life. Integrity was high on his list, but it wasn’t necessary. His fatherly personality made me confide and respect him. Eventually he became my boss, both personally and professionally. We shared secrets and feelings. We helped one another and confided in each other. His heart was bigger than anyone I’ve ever met. And then one day he developed cancer. I was forced to watch him die, and I felt helpless. I am hurt by the loss of his life.

   He’s a new friend, and I really like him. He’s a cross between an older brother and a young father. He loves to laugh and shares the same dysfunctions I do. We get along and we really care for each other. He’s now someone who I respect, and I love him very much. I consistently remind him to get plenty of rest, live healthy, and to go to the doctor when he feels sick. But I am very afraid. I worry. I am in fear. I am afraid of the loss of his life.

   They call it condition stimulus. A repetitive action that turns into a repetitive response. I love, and then I hurt. Bring out the meat sauce because I’ve now turned into the Pavlovian dog that I read about in college.

   I have a problem understanding life today; I have a problem loving people who may suddenly leave this earth without warning. I know, any one of us could die at any moment. We can get into a car accident, a plane could fall from the sky, or our heart could just quit without any warning. We cannot control it. This is just the way it is.

   Through these experiences I’ve learned not to wait until tomorrow, but I’ve also learned to be afraid to feel love today. I’m tired of the losses. I’m tired of the pain. The siblings who are hurt and hate. Others who are hurt, attack. The blame. The absurd accusations. I don’t want to go through those things anymore. Lately, I haven’t participated in my community. My heart had felt numb. Personal experiences have pushed painful scenarios within my spirit. I felt the struggle between what is, and what could be.

   Today is a good day. I feel content. I am happy. I know that whatever happens, I will look towards the positive. Whatever darkness that creeps into my life, somewhere, somehow, I will see a light. Whomever I love today, I will love completely, … today. I will not wait to hug. I will not wait to express how I feel. I will not feel pain and anguish without confronting those feelings with those who try to push their hate into my life. I will do this, each and every day, because I choose to no longer feel the sadness. This is the gift I’ve received from those who have passed. I choose to feel the many joys hidden deep inside the experiences of the loss of life.