Moonlight Will Prevail
By: Jason R.
After the funeral was over, my Uncle told me how he had tried for years to contact me but my father had refused his inquiries. He told me I was welcome to stay in his house for as long as I wished to stay. And I have lived there ever since. I guess he became the dad I should?ve had in the first place.
He taught me that hate, any kind of hate, was no way to live this beautiful life. He forced me to see that if I truly didn?t want to be like my parents, I couldn?t hate them for what they did to me. Or for what they believed. He taught me to love and to show compassion for all living things. And that loving a boy wasn?t sinful. He showed me that love in any form is pure and seldom achieved. Through his patience and constant guidance, I learned that love is a gift from God. He opened my eyes to the gift Greg had left me.
From shortly after my sixteenth birthday till four days after my twenty-second birthday, I lived with my Uncle in bliss and contentment. He had never married and to my knowledge wasn?t gay either. He enjoyed hanging out with his many friends and of helping others out in thousands of different ways. For all I know, he never thought about sex unless I asked an absurd question about this or that. The time I spent in that house with him is some of the best years of my life thus far.
For everything he taught me about life, about relationships, or just about giving of ones self to others, I am forever in his debt. Unfortunately, I will never be able to repay his kindness. You see, four days after my birthday, my Uncle passed away from lung cancer. It seems I?m destined to lose everything I love in my life.
First, I lost my beloved, Greg. Just a few brief hours after that, I lost my family. The ones I have loved so deeply and to this day still miss like it was only yesterday. Then I lose my Uncle, my dad if I may be so bold.
As I look back on the last ten years, I can see how I grew and how I changed due to my Uncles influences. He has helped me through some of life?s hardest lessons.
But the most important lesson I ever learned, I learned from Greg. It wasn?t one thing he said or did but how he lived his life day in and day out. If anything, I learned by his example. I have to live everyday like it?s my last. We really never know when it?s time to go. I learned to follow my dream now, today, and not wait for that ?perfect moment?. I learned that it will never be perfect, sooner or later, if you wait, your dreams can pass you by.
When I went to Greg?s funeral, I didn?t get it. I was so angry with the High School kids and their indifference. This attitude they had, thank god it wasn?t me. I hated each and every one because of this attitude. I didn?t know then what I know now.
Last week at my Uncle?s wake, I didn?t get it at first either. All his friends were sitting around the table, laughing and joking like nothing happened. At first I was angry, but then I watched as they looked at old pictures of my Uncle and told stories about his life, and slowly I began to understand.
Funeral?s aren?t about mourning the passing of a loved one. It?s not about groaning and moaning over death. A funeral is a celebration of life, my Uncles? life. His friends weren?t laughing because they didn?t care. They were laughing because they remembered my Uncle in the most precious of ways. They celebrated his life and what he did for them and everyone he came into contact with on a daily basis. It was a remembrance of all things good about a beautiful man.
I wish I had known this for Greg?s funeral. I could?ve let everyone in that building know what a wonderful and kind person he was. And how much love he had inside his body and his passion for chasing his dreams. But I was still caught up in the trappings of death, I didn?t understand.
I don?t mourn for Greg anymore. I miss him just as strong today as I did then. But when I think of him now, I remember the laughter we shared, the love that held us together, and I remember his life and what we all could learn from it. To live life with no regrets, to never pass over a dream due to fear and to always follow your heart. I believe with every breath in my body that Greg died content and happy with his place in the universe. A free spirit that never let circumstances dictate his happiness.
The doctor said he had a heart attack, that he died peacefully in his sleep. He promised me it was painless and quick. I like to think sometimes as I gaze up at the moon, that the last thing he felt was my love and the last thing he thought was his love for me. I?ll never forget our walk in the moonlight nor will I forget he gave me the most precious gift of all, a will to embrace life and to always take a chance on love.