Grief

Legacies and Broken Timelines

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A couple weeks ago Laura took me out to see Hamilton.  It was originally supposed to be a gift for me and Ed, something to look forward to amidst all the stress.  Laura and I decided to make a day of it, getting lunch and then seeing the play ourselves.  Aside from hearing a couple lines from one song, I was unfamiliar with the show.  I just knew that everyone I knew loved it.

At the end, Hamilton’s wife Eliza sings about establishing Alexander’s legacy.  She sings: “What would you do if you had more time?”  This left me weeping in the theater.  I always think about what Ed could have accomplished if he had more time, what we could have accomplished together.  We had so many ideas in the hopper–countless Trello boards of creative projects and other ideas that filled us with excitement.

Back at the beginning of July, when Ed’s health stabilized after the chemo treatment and overmedication nearly killed him, I felt inspired to become a health coach and advocate.  There is so much mismanagement in the healthcare industry–even among thoughtful doctors–and I wanted to help people fight for their health against a soulless industry.  But when he passed, that future shattered.  It just seems disingenuous.  I still tell everyone the value of dietary changes for healing from cancer and chronic illness, but that future has been burned away.

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So my life’s on fire. Now what?

And so much is still unfinished.  Laura asked me after the play if I felt responsible to preserve Ed’s legacy.  I feel like Ed’s work and talent already speak for themselves, but I owe it to him and us to finish (and in some cases start), the plans that we had for the future. Several of Ed’s friends are helping me finish Ed’s big comic opus, Fucking Forty, and I’m so grateful for that.  Ed finished the first page of his book.  He finished it before his stage 4 diagnosis, when he was still wondering why he felt sluggish all the time.  He finished the script, too, so everything is in place for his friends to carry it to the finish line.  I’m sad he won’t see it published, but hopefully somewhere in the void of space he sees and knows what we’re doing.

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  1. […] figures.  Call it conspicuous consumption in an attempt not to feel quite so bad in the midst of soul-crushing grief.  But then I realized that there’s something I could do with them.  Here’s the first […]

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