For the most part, I don’t actually mind getting older. Sure, there are the indignities our bodies undergo as we transition into middle age—parts shrink or expand, they grow spots or protest certain activities loudly and painfully. That’s all largely “meh” in my book, as it’s just part of life’s cycle. Aging is also usually preferable to the alternative—except when it means you've reached an age where friends start dying of natural causes.
That, dear interwebs, sucks unmitigated amounts of ass.
My RenFaire community recently lost a friend. Brian and I weren't super close, but there’s a bond between performers that’s a kind of shortcut. You don’t have to battle through life’s trenches together to develop a healthy level of trust and respect; a weekend or two on stage or in the lanes will get you there.
But when someone from the community dies, there’s a double-whammy. In addition to my own sadness, I’m processing that of my Faire Family. There’s a hole in that world now, and it takes an additional toll on my psyche to feel the reverberations of waves of grief across those sympathetic fibers that connect us as Family of Choice. For me, that is far worse than my own sense of loss.
When I found out, I wrote a Facebook post exhorting everyone to never fail to let friends and loved ones know how much they are loved. I also reaffirmed my love for them.
I fear, however, that it is not enough.