I’ve known you for the better part of my adult life.
You’ve been my colleague, husband, co-parent, ex-husband.
More importantly, throughout different phases and roles, you’ve been my friend.

And now – you’re gone.

Many are the occasions when I’ve leaned heavily on you, and you’ve been there.
Firmly rooted.
A steady presence.

And now – you’re gone.

Divorced for five, separated for six and a half years, I had no clue it would hurt as much as it does. But it does.
A pain I am grateful for. Proof of your importance in my life.

And now – you’re gone.

I asked the local florist to use newly sprung branches in our hand bouquets for the funeral.
Branches from the birch tree in my garden, once our garden.
For twenty years, she has been your tree, and she will continue to be. Always and already.

As I snipped at her branches, tied them together, biked to the florist and dropped them off, my heart was heavy and light, both.

Light. Smiling. Heartwarmed.
Re-membering love and laughter, twenty-two years of moments of us, with friends and family, filled with gratitude for all that you were, all we were.

Heavy, oh so heavy.
Tears flowing as I left my little bundle of birch branches, knowing the next time I would see them they would be part of my fare-thee-well to you.

Photo of a hand bouquet of an apricot colored multi-petaled tulip, small heavenly blue flowers and birch leaves.

And now – you’re gone.
Not forgotten. Never forgotten.
Held in loving memory.
Always and already my friend.

And now –