31 January 2012


I've been working lately on various projects, on "strengthening my author platform" (see my new Facebook page) and otherwise living. Yesterday, though, I got news that a guy I went to junior high and high school with has passed away. His name is Ky Vanderbush. Ky and I weren't friends, nor were we enemies. We just ran in different circles. Thanks to the cruelty of alphabetical seating we did, however, see a lot of one another in the backs of classrooms. We knew a lot of the same people and shared friends. In a graduating class of almost 1000 people, this name is one that I remember and can still put together with a face.

What's poking me in the heart right now is that while we weren't friends, Ky and I are peers. I'm going to be 32 this year. That's how old Ky was yesterday. That's how old Nicki was in October. I look at this and realize that one thing that still has me reeling after losing my soul sister is this nagging feeling ... this voice in the back of my head like Danny Glover on helium shrieking, "We're too young for this shit!"

Rationally I know that there is no age limit on something so sweeping and natural as death. But doesn't it get you sometimes? That feeling of, "what the hell?" Aren't we still 13 and angsty? Aren't we still 18, untested and full of hopes and the ego that says we really can do anything? Aren't we still invincible?

We know it...all of us from increasingly early ages understand that one day we will be gone. We have a limited time here to live and laugh and learn. We forget that, though. We think we're different or just figure we've got an infinite selection of tomorrows until something happens to remind us otherwise. To quote the Beatles, Tomorrow Never Knows. We might not have tomorrow to fix things.

I'm sorry if this is a downer and I don't want to get pedantic, but really...mortality is weird. Just...take some time today to reach out to the people you love, the people you've fallen away from. Don't put it off until things "calm down" or whatever other excuses you're making. Love now. Live now.

My thoughts and prayers go to Ky's family, his friends...and to all of us who want to hold on just a little longer to the delusion that we are immortal.



Brian said...

I never got to have that feeling of invincibility, of immortality. My dad was a cop. He was the biggest, meanest, toughest guy in the world. a superhero sans cape, and yet I knew, from the age of 4 on, that every time he walked out the front door, he might not come back. If it could happen to him, it could happen to me, too.

Not sure how this is relevant. I just needed to mourn my own loss of innocence, I suppose.

Marisa said...

I love you.

Jacki said...

As much as I hate to say it, it gets worse the older you become. While in my twenties, I was always devastated to read about an acquaintance's death, especially someone I knew in high school. But now that I'm older (50-something), all I do is sigh when I see those obits, and then I think, "My turn's coming..."

I take your advice to heart, each and every day. But I need to add this: Never grow old, despite what your body tells you. ♥

Anonymous said...

Randomly found this blog today as I was doing some searching. I am a friend of Ky's from Mackinac Island/Naples. He was an amazing person and an even better friend. He was able to donate his organs. I've heard they've helped save 5 lives. Even after he's gone he continued to help people. Thank you for your thoughts, I, my friends, and his family appreciate your kind words.

Jamie Wyman said...

@Anonymous: That is great to hear. I'm glad that while he's missed, he has gone on to save others. That is spectacular. I'm sorry you've lost a friend.

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