Hello from a wine bar in Napa Valley. I'm sipping a glass of pinot noir, and writing, with a heavy, heavy heart.
He'd texted me five days prior to say hi and ask how I was.
"Honestly, I'm having a bad week," I replied.
I was. My dog threw up on the new rug in the living room. A million things were going wrong. I lost my keys. I was stressing about the draft of my new novel. Big things in the moment. Miniscule things, in the scheme of life.
"I'm having a bad week, too," he typed, telling me about how all sorts of stuff had been bumming him out.
We laughed from opposite sides of the country, me in Seattle, he in New York City, about Mercury being in retrograde (neither of us believing in astrology). He told me he was going to be in LA the following week. Maybe, he suggested, if I was in town, which I am often, we could grab lunch or a drink. "I'd love to," I said, knowing that an LA trip was in my future. "Let me check my schedule. Hope I can make it work!"
And that was it. My last words to Wyatt.
Two months ago in LA, Wyatt had met my boyfriend. They'd became insta-friends, as I'd hoped they would. It made me happy to see two people I care about become pals. Later that night, when my boyfriend and I left the bar and were paying the valet, Wyatt drove by in his rental car (a convertible—so Wyatt). He gunned the engine as he passed, a big smile on his face, and then he sped off into the night.
That was the last time I saw him.
I never did make it to LA last week. Kids and deadlines and life got in the way.
And then he died. Just like that.
My friend Claire texted me the news. I was on the way to the bowling alley, where my kids would be meeting my boyfriend for the first time—a huge moment, a hurdle that, in all this time post-divorce, I'd never been quite ready to jump over.
That evening, I was pulling into the parking garage of the bowling alley, with three boys in the back of my car, when my friend's text came through. I glanced at my phone quickly, in disbelief when I read the words: "Wyatt died."
My hands began to shake, my lips trembled. And when I saw my boyfriend a few minutes later at the top of the escalator, I sank into his arms, tears stinging my eyes.
I've lived a lot of life in the last two years. And I've met a lot of people. If anything, divorce has taught me that things can fall apart; that life is short and doesn't always go to plan; and, most of all, that we have to seize the moment, the day, the year, the lifetime. Life is for living, and especially loving. And you can learn things from everyone you meet along the way.
Wyatt got all of that and then some. I admired the way he structured his life. He loved his family fiercely, and his family understood his need to be free, traveling the country and the world making art, doing what he loved most.
Wyatt's death has hit me hard. And to be honest, I'm still processing it. But one thing I'm carrying with me, one truth, is the idea of how loss opens you up to what's real and what matters most.
For so long, I was absolutely and completely shattered by my divorce and reeling from the shock waves of change in my life during and after. I mourned and grieved and thrashed around. I cried a million tears and the only way I knew to move forward was to put a 16-story-tall wall around my heart. Brick, with a drawbridge, an iron gate and a sign that read "KEEP OUT."
But somehow, love found its way in. I don't know how. Sneaky little devil. And even still, with a full heart, I was afraid to say the L-word, afraid of falling, afraid of losing control. After all, I'd done all that a long time ago, and look what happened.
Warning! Caution! Danger!
But then Wyatt died. And I realized it was time to take the "Keep Out" sign down. More than just saying "I love you," it was time to fully open my heart up again, as hard as that is.
Even though I know that things can fall apart, I want to finally trust that they won't.
Wyatt loved the phrase "moments like these never last." It was his favorite Instagram hashtag, and if you were to caption his life, those might be the perfect words. A lot like that Robert Frost poem Wyatt and I both loved, "Nothing Gold Can Stay," his take on life might sound pessimistic, glass-half-empty. But I don't think so. I think Wyatt was a joyous realist (he's looking down and laughing at me right now), who knew that our days are numbered, so we might as well live them to the fullest. We might as well stay up an hour later, or forgive the person who wronged us, or say yes, or say no, or dance, or have another cocktail (and buy a lonely-looking stranger at the bar one, too), throw a ten dollar bill in a homeless man's hat, turn the music up, or... go to LA for the weekend. I wish I had.
I may not be here tomorrow. And the people I love may not be either. So I'm going to drink this wine, I'm going to finish this column (and my eighth novel that is due next week!). I'm going to think of Wyatt, and I'm going to remember that life is for living.
I'm also going take a hammer and begin tearing down my walls a little; and while I'm at it, I'm going to tell the person I love that I love him. Because I do. Oh, I do.
(Rest in peace, Wyatt. You were such a star.)
Photos: Wyatt Neumann
- ^ Wyatt Neumann (fundly.com)
- ^ Claire (clairebidwellsmith.com)
- ^ my divorce (www.glamour.com)
- ^ his favorite Instagram hashtag (instagram.com)
- ^ Nothing Gold Can Stay (www.online-literature.com)
- ^ my eighth novel (www.sarahjio.com)
- ^ here (fundly.com)
- ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
- ^ Twitter (www.twitter.com)
- ^ Instagram (www.instagram.com)
- ^ here (www.glamour.com)
Source : http://feeds.glamour.com/c/35377/f/665037/s/476543e4/sc/26/l/0L0Sglamour0N0Csex0Elove0Elife0Cblogs0Csmitten0C20A150C0A60Cmoments0Elike0Ethese0Enever0Elast/story01.htm
If you want to unsubscribe Click Here