Right before I left for my 2-month backpacking trip around Europe, I got some horrible news. One of my good friends had passed away in July.
We lived in the same house and ate dinner at the same table for over 6 months. He and his girlfriend are like family to me, and it was the first time I felt like I had a big brother (even though he was a couple years younger). So when I found out, it was a huge nightmare of a surprise, and I wished/wish that it wasn’t true. I’ve seen 3 other close friends pass – and all at such young ages. This time, it felt the same in some ways; I miss him terribly and have many feelings of regret. But, it’s also very different than when it happened the first time, not because I’ve gotten used to it, but partially because I’ve developed a different perspective and have grown a lot since then.
The biggest change towards positive mindful living I’ve made is probably that I’ve made peace with and accepted death as a part of life. I’ve accepted that one day I will die, and it’s not this scary, taboo, or unthinkable thing. This has made me treasure simple moments in life with people and alone. I am truly thankful for this lesson I have learned. 一期一会.
Honestly, he was so stealthily wonderful. I say that because he was quiet and shy, didn’t have any social media accounts, not even a smartphone. He was so talented and had a wonderful personality but didn’t feel the need to capitalize on any of it. He lived simply and was there for you when you needed a friend or someone to talk to. He had so much to give to the world and is gone far too early in my opinion. But it seems that there were other plans for him and I don’t have to understand what those are.
He was definitely my biggest “mindfulness inspiration” while I was in Europe, and will no-doubt inspire me to live my best life forever.
When I was in Europe, I felt a bit of stress because I couldn’t post like I had planned – you know, not enough time, not enough WiFi. Then, at some point I kind of just told myself “What would Wataru do?” WWWD : ) I really admired that he lived not caring what others thought; he didn’t want fame nor fortune; he just wanted to live a simple life. I know Instagram is not vital to anyone’s life, but I do feel like sharing my story could help somebody, so that’s why I want to do it. BUT I need to love and take care of myself first.
I always try to remember that my friends that passed never got to travel around and see some of the things I saw. So I try to take full advantage of the opportunities I had…always treasure the PRESENT. Wataru-san would probably say something like, “Relax. Focus on what matters. Enjoy the moment.” It’s what I know in my heart to be true. So, I took a break and lived it up with lots of thoughts of my friends that have passed, as well as those living…now, I’m back, and am stronger and have more love and experiences to share with you, my friends. This was my time to truly get out there and enjoy life, and let me tell ya…
= = = LIFE is TRULY BEAUTIFUL!! = = = = = = =
FUNNY, GOOFY, SMART, DEEP, CARING, COOL, QUIET, SIMPLE, TALENTED yet HUMBLE, GREAT COOK, GUITAR PLAYER, DRUMMER, WOOD WITTLER, MEDIATOR, TEACHER, NATURE-LOVER, FARMER, ALWAYS SMILING WATARU-SAN, I will always miss and love you, brother.