Their Best Selves in Us

I found this quote last week and it has really stuck in my mind. I feel like I’ve tried so hard just to find myself again since he died that maybe I’ve lost sight of this a little. Continuing on has a way of doing that I guess.

When he first died, I was so aware of this idea. The man died for his dreams… literally. He was in a helicopter flying as a job, the thing he had dreamed of doing, when he crashed and died. It kind of made it hard to use the excuse that I’m “scared” anymore after that. Especially because it’s not like I had particularly dangerous dreams like being a pilot. I mean, probably no one has ever died from exhibiting their artwork in galleries. So I guess that was one of the qualities I have tried hard to emulate… telling myself “fear is not a good enough reason anymore”. I’ve still let a lot of fear get in the way, but I’ve definitely experienced some amazing new things from following his example since he died.

Another of my favorite qualities in him was his silliness, and the general lightness and humor between the two of us. Nothing ever really felt all that heavy, at least not for long. I’ve always felt like I lost a lot of that when I lost him. I have felt so vulnerable since he died that I haven’t been able to get back there… because for me, that light feeling came from a place of fully trusting my reality. I think even six years later, I still cannot trust my reality enough to let go of the foreboding feeling of “what IF…” for very long. So instead there are moments of lightness, moments of being able to be silly and goofy, but they often seem so short lived. I don’t know if that is something that is ever repaired.

I think instead I’m just trying to explore new ways of finding humor. Using it to bring lightness to all the heavy stuff I do feel. Using it to remind myself that I can’t control when this volcano is gonna erupt again and burn my village down. It does help. It helps to remember that this is something he learned during our time together to help himself deal with stress. So I guess that’s the stuff I’m trying to remember these days. The things about him I loved most.

Live for today, take a shot at something if you love it, and try not to worry so much about how this whole damn thing is gonna go. I think it’s a pretty hopeful way to keep on keeping on.


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  • Laren Tolbert
    commented 2018-10-29 16:26:51 -0700
    My wife Barbara was incredibly kind, especially to those who were not in a position to repay her. I try to emulate her attitude and behavior but I am a poor substitute.
  • Judy Kaan
    commented 2018-10-28 10:20:36 -0700
    I need to also do this. Justin had such a great sense of humor – and I need to laugh at things more instead of taking things so seriously. I do laugh – but like you Sarah things are short lived. Thanks so much for sharing about Drew. Love your writing so much.