To say it has been a long day is a gross understatement. I could not have imagined what lay before me this day upon my arising. I guess I knew this day would come, but it is here, now, and I must confront the reality that my friend is no longer here. As I took a walk earlier this evening I could barely see the path between my tears. For me physically taking charge helps me breath, helps me cope. I didn’t even know where I was going, it didn’t matter. The earth crushing beneath my boots was enough. One foot in front of the other as a prayer, as repetition, as comfort. The solitude of my grief was raw, the void palpable. As I turned to return home the view was stunning. It had grown dark, the day rolling down its shades for the evening, preparing for rest. The sky was vibrant with stars dancing their nightly serenade. Swirling around themselves and the mother sky. Flickering like strobes on and off, off and on. The clouds wrapped themselves into the mix ducking in and out of sight. Slowly crawling across the horizon, churning, rolling to the next hemisphere. Are you up there my friend? Can you see me? Do you know I love you? Are you somewhere in this starry night reflecting back at me? Are you at peace amidst the dance of light? Are you sending peace to me? To all of us who love you? The town is silent, not a whisper of wind, not a sound to be heard. Just the deafening silence, your absence screaming in my head. Every house tucked in for the night, lights extinguished as I walk. I may be the only person on the planet to receive this gift, the amazing gift of this sky, this night. I see the steeple of my church in the distance. The beacon of hope where I receive my daily dose. Hope as great as the universe, as small as my single prayer this evening. My single hope I hold in my heart as it breaks for my friend. I wish I could share this one more starry night with you friend. To share the wonders this universe pours out to us, only to be an afterthought most days. This incredible light show happens every evening, but tonight is even more spectacular with you in the picture. Your beautiful light adding to this dance of stars shining so brightly tonight. Why am I the only one here? Why is everyone else ignoring your show? Don’t they realize this night will slip away, never this wondrous again? The calm, after your storm, the peace after your struggle. I see you, I feel you, and I hear you in my heart. You wrap around me like this starry night, all the memories dancing along singing to my soul. In this quiet I know you are still here as sure as this beautiful night is here. But it is changing in every passing moment. Growing colder now it is preparing for tomorrow and so must I. I want to drink in this moment and hold it forever, yet I can’t. Tomorrow will come, and the stars will give way to the dawn. I must leave this starry night, but I vow to never forget this moment. How you made me feel, how you enlightened the world with your spirit. It is up to each one of us now as you pass this torch. To be that light, to enrich this earth, to give back to the universe that you have now returned to. Thank you for the show this evening, thank you for reminding me we are all but a vapor in the wind. I will never forget you mattered, you made a difference and out of my love for you I will remember it is my responsibility to do the same. Sleep tight my friend, until we are united.