Tolstoy wrote, “Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.”
On this day, in 1997, my brother and his wife returned to love, the general and eternal source, in a fiery crash on a northern prairie road.
It was sudden, inexplicable, devastating and ever-lasting.
On the weekend, I watched a video my niece posted on her FB page from her wedding in Australia last month. She looked beautiful, radiant, happy. And In Love.
She was 17 when her parents were killed. They never saw her graduate high school, university. They never saw her struggling to make sense of an event that could never make sense. They never saw her get married.
But in her smile, in her laughter as she clapped her hands when she and her beloved were pronounced ‘husband and wife’, in her love of the music that accompanies their wedding video, I saw my brother’s smile, heard my brother’s laughter, felt his presence in the music and knew that while he wasn’t there in this realm, his love and the love of her mother, surrounded her on that day.
We come into this world in love and return to it to become, the general and eternal source, a particle of love.
My brother left this earthly realm 18 years ago today.
Once upon a time he taught me to ride a bike, to dance the twist, to listen to the beat and let my body bend and dip to its calling. And though he drove me crazy with his insistence I listen to this tune and then the next without ever letting more than a few bars of each song play, he taught me to listen deeply to the music, to find its beat and let it move me. He taught me to laugh at myself and to laugh, deep from my belly, at life’s peculiarities. He taught me the meaning of being generous, of giving from the heart and not judging. He taught me to never back down, to stand up for what I believe in and to always take care of others. He once dragged me from a disco when I was underage, telling me it was his job to keep me safe. And even though I was angry at him for interfering with my rebellious night out, I loved him for his care. I loved him for believing he could keep me safe and then doing whatever he could to make it happen.
My brother wasn’t perfect. He was however, just like all of us, perfectly perfect in all his human imperfections.
For in all his many facets, there is one thing about my brother that could never be avoided, never be denied, never be destroyed. He loved.
Deeply. Completely. Totally. Unreservedly.
Life. Laughter. Music. Having fun. He loved his friends and family, his mother and father, his sisters and above all, his wife and two daughters.
My brother and his wife passed away in a fiery crash 18 years ago today.
In the fiery remains of that crash, the love they carried, the love they were, the love they are remains today in the crystal clear truth of their becoming part of the general and eternal source, a particle of love.
Loving you George and Ros on this day, and every day.