Life...death...rebirth...(in loving remembrance)

Today marks a special anniversary...an 10 year anniversary of life, death and rebirth...the beginning of what makes me who I am today...

- Prologue -

There was this sweet angel of a girl. Her name was Priya. A girl whose physical beauty was wonderfully complimented by the beauty of her inner light. A dear friend amongst a circle of close friends whom did many things together as a group. Clubs. Parties. Theatre. Festivals. Nearly everything. And everywhere she went, she always carried her shy closed-mouth smile.

But she had a flaw as beauty always does...two actually. A heroin addiction and a controlling boyfriend who nurtured it. Actually, it was an addiction to both that slowly created turmoil within the circle...and between us. I remember offering a quiet ear when she needed to express the conflict within...sometimes a shoulder for her pain-filled tears. However, in time comes the realization that you cannot help those who will not help themselves. And within that time, somehow, we parted ways.

Fast-forward six months. I was helping a new friend move into her new house. I remember vividly the beautiful sunny day when my cellphone rang. It was Priya. I listened as she told me her now ex-boyfriend became physically abusive...he was now in jail for possession...how she took back her life...and that she put herself through rehab. She has been clean for four months and needed positive people within her new path in life. And her first thought was of me. I knew this took much courage to do this...both rehab and the call. I told her how very proud I was of her and coincidentally, had an extra ticket to see "Everything But The Girl" that night and invited her.

The concert was amazing. We stood about ten feet from the stage and sang all our favorite songs. When the song "Missing" began to play, I asked her to dance...and we twirled as much as we could on the crowded concert floor. She later confessed that it was the first time she ever danced with anyone. We quickly became friends again. Having fun once again with me finding much joy seeing her within her new life. I was deeply proud of her. Deeply.

Then she disappeared. Without a word. After a couple weeks, and through her parents, I found her. The "ex" was released from jail, came back into her life...and brought with him the gift of her old addiction. I was angry. Disappointed. I felt betrayed. With much conviction, she told me how she loved him and couldn't leave him. I've heard this too many times before and know all too well its consequences. And we drifted apart once again.

Fast-forward two months. The next day was November 4...my birthday. I knew my friends were planning something sinister. And they didn't fail me. We literally took over the Magic Stick downtown as all my friends, close and casual, were there. We drank...played pool...bowled...and chummed together. At one point, amongst the countless shots and drinks, I was gang chased around the bar and held bent over on the pool table as some gave their complimentary spankings. It was literally the best birthday I've had in my entire life. Fun with a capital F-U-N! I was driven home around 4 or 5am and slept the next day away. Well, most of the day until the phone began ringing. I answered. It was Priya's mother. With her frail voice, she told me that the boyfriend was put back in jail again for drug possession a few days back. And last night, Priya, left alone in their apartment...took a gun...and ended her life...


- Epilogue -

As I lived within a year of painful guilt, blame and regret, I moved inwards. Explored. And discovered new ways of expressing what I felt, thought and lived. New artistic mediums beginning with poetry, then sculpture, photography and finally, a film script that I feel encompasses all the emotions, mediums and release of those darkened days.

Odd how one's death can become awakening for another. The end to become the beginning. But also, what a fitting tribute...to live, learn and grow from her life...and life itself. And through this, she lives eternally.

May your spirit find the peace that eluded it in life

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