21 March 2013

Happy Birthday, Linn

Today would have been Linn's 27th birthday. I have avoided talking very much about Linn's death or my long period of grief and depression that followed on this blog because a. it's very personal and need not be broadcast to the world wide web, b. it is difficult for me even now- after almost a year and a half of time and a year of therapy later- to return my thoughts to that troubling place, and c. this blog has always been what I would like to think of as an expression of the most positive and beneficial aspects of myself; the things I am proud of, want to share, and that make me feel happy and fulfilled.

So I skipped over the whole thing, pretty much, and when I returned to blogging (briefly and prematurely) I tried to just force myself into the mindset and voice I had before Linn's death. My life was basically still in shambles at that point so that didn't work, and when I finally returned to this blog in a healthy state last month I only wanted to move forward, not look back on the trauma of the past year and a half.

Linn was and is, however, a permanent and extremely important influence on my life. The time that I knew him changed me. The time that we dated changed me. His death obviously changed me, and the grief, destruction, and ultimate healing that followed has changed me. There is rarely if ever a single day that I do not think of him. I am often reminded by the world around me of him, our conversations, our memories, our love story, and I wonder and reflect upon what could have been- especially on days like today. At 27, who would Linn have been? Would we still be together? Would he be in San Diego by now, running a pizza shop with Clint like he had planned and was so excited about? Would I be finishing school this spring instead of next December with plans of joining him after graduation? The questions that can never be answered have not disappeared from my mind, but they no longer agonize and torment me. Now they are a source of simple wonderment, cherished quiet moments of reflection, and reassuring reminders of Linn's presence in my heart.

I have written at length about Linn in my personal journals- everything from when I first met him as he swept the dining room of Mama Eddas where I was filling out an application to years later, after his death, when I wrote him countless letters and stream of consciousness ramblings that I could only hope would somehow be received. Just yesterday I stumbled upon a forgotten journal entry that I wrote after we had been dating for several months and the love-struck, giddy way in which I gushed about him filled my heart with joy and nostalgia. Here's a passage:

"I just got back from my weekend of hometown friends and Linn. It was so wonderful and amazing, I had such a great time and it was so, so good to be with my boy for a while. Every time i think about him or look at him i smile, it makes me giddy. I can't believe how much I've fallen for him. I love him so much. leaving today was heartbreaking, even though I know I'll see him again soon... I wish there was an easy way for us to just be together but there just isn't right now. Someday, I hope. So much. He is the sweetest, kindest, most gentlemanly guy I have ever dated and he's also incredibly attractive and funny. I want to be his."

It makes me happy to remember how wonderful and full of love and happiness he made my life when we were together. There have been many times when Linn's real presence in my life- the years of friendship, the secret crush, the brief romance- have been clouded over by the weight of the despair and tragedy that followed. It is unfair to Linn's memory and to myself to allow it to be that way and I am overjoyed to have the words that I wrote in times of blissful adoration to pull me back to the real memories, the memories that matter.

Today, like every day, I will think about Linn, smile at the thought of his face and his laugh, and ponder what we might have done if he'd been here. I feel blessed to even have these thoughts, and I know that I have had and will have a better of life because he was and is a part of it.

Happy Birthday, Linn. The amount of compassion in your heart and the immense amount of love, kindness, and sincerity you showed is obvious through the number of people that to this day express their gratitude to have known you. Someday we will all see your smile again <3 br="">
And finally, this is the poem I wrote a few days after Linn's death which I read at his funeral.

When I remember you,
I'd like it to feel
The way it did that night-
Shy eyes glinting starlight,
A shiver that has nothing to do
With the cool summer night.
When I remember you,
I'd like to go back to those days-
The long lazy sunlit haze,
Hours and hours of nothing to do
And everything to say
And nothing but happiness
In your sweet face.
When I remember you,
I'd like to think of the words-
Often said, always heard,
A promise not broken,
but simply deferred:
"One day we'll be together.
One day,
We'll fly like the birds."



  1. I am sorry:(

    The poem was beautiful.(:

  2. Thank you for sharing this experience, Lu. And that poem...so lovely, so heartfelt, so you.