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And death comes knocking: Mike

The other day I saw an email in my Facebook inbox. The name took me by surprise. It was an old friend/acquaintance from a rather tumultuous period of my life. For many reasons we went our separate ways. The last time we were in contact was probably close to a decade ago. Curious, I clicked his message. To my surprise he searched me out to let me know that my ex(?), who is also his friend, had died from a sudden heart attack. 

I don't even know how to write what my reaction to this was. 

On one hand I felt far removed from the news, enough to make it a bit surreal. Mike and I have not been "together" since 1993 and the numerous times we tried to restart our friendship failed for many reasons. On the other hand a sense of guilt set in because the last two times Mike reached out to me I simply turned the other cheek. No matter how much time passed our conversations were stuck in the past; the times we spent together and his wanting to bash my ex (the man I left him for). When it didn't go there, it often became sexual, something I was not interested in engaging. Even despite this, I feel a bit sad that I didn't reach back. 

The question is why? I think the reason stems from the fact that every time Mike and I tried to make it work his life was stuck, for whatever reason he was unable to or maybe subconsciously unwilling to do what he needed to find happiness. The peacekeeper and caretaker in me wanted him to find it. I wanted to know that at some point in his life he was able to let go of any past wounds or limitations he had in place for himself and be happy. His death came far too early in his life and I hope in some ways, in the years we haven't talked, that he found some...but the pattern in his life that I've known says "no."

There's also the sadness I feel for his mother. She was in a very emotionally unhealthy relationship for years, and her second son was emotionally and in many other ways an emotional and financial "leech." Mike was the only healthy relationship she had in her immediate family that I was aware of. Now in her lifetime she's had to bury her husband (early), her son (early), and some memory tells me something happened with Mike's brother. 

Finally, there's the issue of Mike was really an ex or not. It was a very, very strange and emotionally tumultuous period of my life. Nothing started honestly (his doing), and nothing ended honestly (my doing). I will write about this at some later date, but I can't think about my relationship with Mike without thinking of some of the emotional manipulating that was done at the start of our friendship. This only adds even more conflicting emotion to the news of his death. 

As time goes by I'll put this in more perspective for myself, but when all is said and done, I hope Mike has found peace in his next great journey. 



Dog River Hike Peak

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