Loss has found me once again at my new address. One of the friends I found, after that devastating move*, has been taken away, this time by death. He was my first new friend, He was Luke Renner. He was my friend despite the turmoil and upheaval in that season of desperation.
For that I will always have a special place in my heart for him. He will always be alive there and alive in my memory. Corny, sympathy card sentiments I know, but true nonetheless. As is the fact that he is now with Jesus. Is this some measure of comfort? Yes it is. Is it enough? No, not yet, but maybe it will be someday.
Grief finds me revisiting the uncontrollable body dysregulation and escalation that is triggered by big negative emotions. They are so ingrained and automatic and they rear their ugly head as my heart breaks. I will combat that heartbreak, in part, by celebrating Luke and our friendship here. My body cannot bear to attend his memorial, so this is my memorial to him.
Luke and I could not communicate directly when we first met, but there was an unspoken camaraderie and acceptance between us. We shared similar interests and struggles which was a lifeline to me on this strange new frontier in North Atlanta.
Luke was happy go lucky. He enjoyed life’s pleasures like yummy food, pretty girls, and fun. He was the quintessential teenage guy regardless of his autism. Autism just complicates things making it difficult to see the real person underneath. What people saw front and center at times, not unlike me, was a teen trapped in an uncooperative body that acted contrary to his wishes too much of the time. I won’t pretend this wasn’t true just because he’s gone. After all, that’s what friendship is: loving the whole person, the good and the not so good.
We had many fun times together riding thrill rides, swimming, walking his dog Coco, eating popsicles, playing putt putt, going to the movies, attending camps and other group activities. We shared the tough times too, when our unruly bodies got the best of us. Brothers in struggle.
Our lives went in different directions then. That doesn’t mean our friendship ended. Life and moments shared with those we love are very precious, whether shared yesterday or last year. Really they are all that matters-not material things or accomplishments. We all want to love and be loved for who we are.
Luke you will always be loved as a friend by me. Though you are gone, you live on in those whose lives were touched by yours.
*see my previous post