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A Celebration of Life, After Death

Today was his 28th birthday, had he been here to celebrate it. Tomorrow will be the 5 month anniversary of his passing.

We lost him suddenly and without warning. The day had been like any other, but that’s usually how it goes, right? I feel like that’s what those left behind always say, “We had no idea,” or “No one would have suspect a thing.” Losing a loved one is never an expectation. We all know that life is fragile and volatile and susceptible to many factors. Yet when it ends, we are all still left in a haze of grief and confusion. Especially when that person has made the decision to take matters into his own hands.

But today… today is his birthday. It is his life that we choose to recognize. It is his life that we choose to celebrate, and it is his life intertwined with our own lives that we have come to appreciate.

In recognition of his life, his light, and his laughter, we decided to do what we believe he would have done on his birthday. To us, that meant an evening on the beach with vanilla bean cupcakes! He was an easy-going, young man, who appreciated and found happiness in the simplest joys and attainable pleasures. Just being with those he cares about would have been enough for him. And so, it is enough for us.

So, we made our way to a quaint little spot in Malibu, CA. Honestly, we had no set destination in mind, we just knew we wanted to be by the water. Believing heavily in the ability of the spirit, my sister drove along the coast on Pacific Coast Highway, until we felt as though a spot spoke to us. When I felt we had reached the right place, she pulled over, we grabbed our cupcakes and blankets, and made our way to the water.

For an early March day, the weather was warm and pleasant. But we’ve been spoiled with amazing weather this winter here in So. Cal. He would have loved it.

We waded our feet in the saltine waters, walked along the shore, and engaged in conversation with those around us who also came out to enjoy the beauty of a Malibu sunset.

And in this setting we discussed our final interactions with him. We opened up about our final conversations, and our fondest memories. In this way we celebrated his birthday and his life… after his death.

Its never too late to celebrate life. I thank him for teaching me this and many lessons to come.

Happy Birthday to the one we lost.

And may we all be sweetly inspired.

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Credits:

All photos taken by A. Reneé for Darling Afflatus, 2015.

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