Dear Wigleaf,

Last week a friend of mine died, and yesterday was his memorial service. I don't mean to bum you out with my postcard, and I'm not asking you to say "Sorry for your loss." But I didn't want to lie to you, either: I've been thinking a lot about the death of my friend, and I can't pretend otherwise.

At the memorial, we set up a projector to show pictures of him, so many pictures with so many friends. We read some of his poems to each other. We put on his collection of ties — he collected ties — and we stood in front of the room to tell stories of how and why we loved him.

Then, someone said, "He had a great life, and he never knew it."

It's true. Our friend was able to make this entire room of people feel loved, without ever quite accepting that feeling for himself.

That's what I'm thinking about today, as I write this postcard. That's what I'm trying to learn from my friend: how to have a great life, and also how to know it. That's his parting gift to me, I guess — this lesson — and I'm grateful to take it, and maybe share it with you today.


Christopher DeWan

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