How do you celebrate and mourn simultaneously?
July 30th will mark one year since Patrick's death. July 31st will mark our departure from Deadhorse.
Our team deliberately chose not to leave on the anniversary of his killing, aware of its potential affect on my parents. Instead, we'll spend that day driving up from Fairbanks, all seven of our bodies (the core four, illustrious Eric, and my parents) squished inside a pickup-truck. But how differently will day 366 really feel from 365? How differently does day 1 feel from all the others?
I often try to remind myself of the relative insignificance of that day. That his death was just an infinitesimally small part of his life. Our favorite days together were Halloweens, where we danced at Morningbell shows or cried over a break up or improvised a Risky Business costume for me out of his teaching dress shirts, and our May birthdays, where we took tequila shots and hosted beach barbecues and busked on subways. July 30th was not one of our "days". It was ordinary. I fear that hyping the day up will emphasize the occurrence of his death, not his life.
So, I hope for it to be ordinary. Well, ordinary in the way beginning-an-8000-mile-bike-ride-day can be ordinary. We'll celebrate it as we do all of Patrick's ordinary days. With grief, with love, and with the insatiable desire to ride on.