It’s been a year.

How long can mourning last? Months? A lifetime? I grew up thinking that a year should suffice in the case of a loved one. But for those who know what it’s like to have a life unjustly removed from this world, know the eternal weight that their chest carries. Today has been one year.

What has changed for me? It is something I ask, mainly out of hope that the pain will go away. That the visits I get in my dreams will cease to wake me in agonizing tears. Some say that life goes on. Perhaps a sum of this some are accurate in their unthoughtful ignorance, but it surely doesn’t go on in the same way. I believe when someone truly experiences darkness, they are changed forever, and they will see life differently from then on.

Death has been a particular subject for my conscious since I was a little boy. Waiting for the end. That’s what I was raised to think about. It’s what some of my first dreams were about. Volcanoes erupting, earthquakes, nuclear war. All of it seems arbitrary now. What once was a fear has minimized itself to a numbing vibration that’s only slightly heard at the quietest of moments.

I talk to my father about his death in my dreams. That’s not easy, but that is sometimes a normal day. I speak with him. Maybe I cry, maybe I don’t, but I wake up like any other day and head to the office. And sometimes I wonder, “does conscience make cowards of us all?” And is it noble to bare the whips and scorns of time? How do I use the arms the universe intended me to use?

This past year will forever be a marker for me. Learning that all of life’s strongest feelings can ebb like the tide. Calmness, joy, awareness, enlightenment; all of which need watering and daily care. Especially if you been broken. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to say this.

I think I’m still putting the pieces back together as well. It’s adjustment, that’s all. In a universe with change as its continuum, life is constant adjustment. And for me, it’s movement. Constant movement. Always doing something, and for that it’s probably my Finnish counterparts that understand this the best. “The Finnish man is always thinking.” I’ve been told by friends and family in Helsinki and Turku. And how I deal with that, is by thinking about something tangible, somewhat creative, and get obsessed about it. My whole life I’ve had music. In Bulgaria I started leather craft. I cycle day after day, because when I get tired I might stop and see a classic Bentley drive by. And I say out loud “What do you think about that one, Dad?” One of his common gestures. Maybe this is why I have to keep moving. Physical stress can help control emotional stress.

Somehow I feel more creative this past year. I’m aware that I’m purposefully choosing creativity as an outlet for my despair, however it seems to flow more naturally now than ever. Perhaps I’ve needed it this year more than ever. However the goal in life never changes, regardless of our circumstances. Contribution, collaboration, compassion and collective evolution. Whatever it is we believe in, I believe we need to say it.

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