The Point of No Return

The time has come to say good-bye.

Funny how that time is different for every person. How we each work our way through hope until we can face reality and know when to let something die.

My friend, Angela, spotted this article about my lost friend, Craig, the other day. I was grateful she sent it, since it’s a loving and lovely tribute to him. And it sums up his disappearance and presumed death. She commented that, after reading my postings about it, this confirmed for her the ending of it all.

For me, that final post about it on May 8 was when I came to terms.

Though to confess the hardness of my heart — I’d given up hope well before that. While his family fought to extend the search for weeks and weeks, I gave up on him after about five days. After that, I figured that, even if they found his body, he couldn’t be alive.

Perhaps I’m not a hopeful person.

Had I been Odysseus’ wife, I would have remarried long since.

Perhaps it’s just an acquired skill. Having lost my father, when I was very young, I think I learned something about letting go. Elizabeth Bishop says that the art of losing isn’t hard to master and I think she’s right. You learn that someone can be there one moment and vaporize the next.

The hard part becomes the holding on.

In many ways, I think it’s hard to hold out hope. It takes constant energy to hope that something isn’t so. To somehow remold the past, to change the outcome. Maybe that’s why we regard hope as a virtue, because it can be so difficult to generate and maintain.

Yet, I believe there’s also a virtue to finding the end of something. To knowing that it’s over and having the courage to recognize it.

I think the articles and memorials for Craig have just now kicked in because school restarted. As if everyone took summer vacation from grief and worry. And from hope, perhaps. Now is the time to wind it all up. It’s appropriate, since Craig lived according to the ebb and flow of the academic calendar.

Beginnings and endings.

Farewell, Craig.

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