With the shock of the words on my screen came a sudden intake of breath. You know, that desperate intake as you plunge into ice-cold water; or the type of breath that comes with loss, as you realise you are dropping something delicate and precious onto a hard floor, knowing that it will never be the same again.
The news arrived just after my last blog post, in a very 2019 way…in a private message on Instagram. I spent the next days and weeks scanning across our beautiful fourteen-year friendship:
The Chelsea Pier boat party;
This misplaced Brit whom couldn’t locate his hotel;
That 24hr diner that witnessed the unstoppable immediacy of our friendship;
The laughter-filled summers on Fire Island, spent staying up way beyond bedtime;
The endless Manhatten nights, laced with things that need not be mentioned;
That disgraceful cocktail bill from that shopping trip to Harvey Nichols;
The chance meeting of the love of my life on a packed out dance floor;
A hilarious, sunglass-clad, post-clubbing 9AM dash in a cab to Heathrow;
The rooftop pool in Hell’s Kitchen;
Our all-you-can-drink spot on Union Square;
THAT rain-soaked, taxi-less, 3AM Parisian-pain of the belligerent, pigeon-stepping partner;
The note-comparing trips to India;
The one-time visit to a new home in the Midwest;
The cellular-free shining brow of Frank Lloyd-Wright;
That expansive view of Devil’s Lake.
Three years ago this news would have floored me;
Two ago and it would have rocked me;
Last year it would have unsettled me;
This year I am propelled me through gratitude.
It is not without sadness that I remember my dear friend Ian. I have been silent for many reasons over the past months, I have questioned the intent behind everything I have been doing – what is the point of writing a blog? Why post on Instagram? What am I really saying anyway? Who cares? Words, images, all seemed futile. Poor Ian lost his life. But this time something was different. At the loss of a dear friend in 2016 I spiralled, taking the news very badly and behaving in a very un-resourceful way.
This time I spent my heartbeats on deep meditation (post on Vipassana coming soon), getting even further into my yoga and coaching practice. I have come out the other side of all the questions I’ve had in a healthy, whole-istic way.
Given the chance, I would tell him I love him even more frequently. I would tell him that his life was a gift, and that his intelligence humbles me. I would tell him that the world needed him, just as he was. I would hug him and tell him that the world is a richer place because of him. We would chat, and no doubt laugh just as we always did when we were together – uncontrollably.
Given that chance, I know what he would tell me. It is that very special secret that I will never be able to thank him enough for. He would tell me that I am doing the right thing, following the right path.
My intention is to share methodologies, knowledge and ways of navigating this world with the sole interest in the alleviation of human suffering. Once we have clear sights set on suffering, we can begin to tap into true our potential. My beloved friend Ian suffered. It breaks my heart every time I think about it. It drives me to work in service of others, of us all.
With gratitude for the being that you were, my dear friend Ian, you left far too soon. I treasure all you taught me, the love that you gave, the light you shared with all who came into your path, the true, unabashed joy that you were.
I love you. I honour you.