What I do is write. Everyone has there outlet, this is mine.
I have lived a beautiful life so far, but that life has seen its fair share of grief and tragedy. Through a number of these occasions I have turned to pen and paper, or computer and keyboard, and let out my thoughts; and my heart.
The loss of my dad, my grandfather, the pain, the questions; the list goes on. Some things I have shared with others, to let people know that we all share a commonality, to some degree, when it comes to heartache, difficulties, feeling alone. Other things I have kept to myself, for my own insights; because we are all entitled to a little privacy.
This past week has been a difficult one of not understanding; of shock, of confusion. A numbness settled in, an eerie and familiar feeling. A friend of mine passed away. It was sudden and it was unfair. It is unfair. My friend, Kevin, is no longer here; physically that is. His friendship, and the memories that I'm filled with, will remain forever. He was five years younger than me and I think, again, it is unfair. My heart goes out to his family whom I have the pleasure of knowing; his sisters, his brothers, his father, and his mother, before she passed.
Kevin and I worked together for many years at The Red Barn theatre as well as The New Yorker theatre, for a time. Our friendship continued beyond that as we shared interest in music and television shows and movies. We spoke about a lot of things and shared a lot of laughter, along with attending a few parties. But one of the most meaningful of memories was of Kevin doing something that sadly, some friends, or even family, do not always do.
It was a time when I faced one of my biggest challenges and I was thrown into a shadow of darkness. My mother had fallen while out walking, all alone, and from it suffered a brain injury. I was working at the time, at the theatre, with my friend Kevin.
The first Act was about three quarters in when someone came to get me and tell me the news. It was basically just the Stage Manager and the two of us (Kevin and myself) running the show...... and when they say "the show must go on", they really mean it. I helped out with a few more things before leaving that night, my mind being all over the place. It was Kevin who told me, "I got this, go home to your mom."
The injury my mom deals with is life long, and it has affected both her and me in multiple ways, but she handles it well; I try my best. A year after her injury she was up on her feet, and for my mom, the best medicine, is being social. We went to the theatre to see a show and be with all of our friends that were in attendance. Toward the end of the night when it was time to leave, it was a slow process. The theatre parking lot pretty much had only one light to see around aside from the illumination that squeaked out from the insides of the theatre. The fairly steep incline that went to the front drive where I had pulled my car up to, was difficult to maneuver; my mom was deathly scared of falling again. Amongst the crowd came my assistance. Kevin ignored all those around and made his way to our side to make sure I got my mom to the car safely.
These are the things that will surpass all other great memories, (which I'll hold onto as well) because these are the things that have delivered the biggest impact. In a time where I had dealt with distant family members argue with me because they didn't understand, along with friends turning away out of fear, (or whatever reason they may have had) my friend Kevin was there. They may seem like little gestures, but, for me, they were enough.
"I got this, go home to your mom."
I was lucky enough to have a friend who not only offered friendship, but support in a time of need. We all need this, unfortunately I do not think we all have this.
Not just in my life, but other paths I have crossed, lives facing various challenges, the loss of friendship and family support has become all too common a story. Hearing about how people just don't "get it" and ignore the situation of those facing difficulty, is sad. And like it is with Kevin's passing, it is also unfair. That is why when you get it, the understanding and the support, no matter how big or how small, (and it really is all big) it means the world and touches the soul.
Rest in Peace, Kevin Derouin. I will remember you for a lot of things, in my mind, and in my heart.