“Freedom! Heading home for a much needed day off.” ~Christine Macken (1985-2010)
I often have written about how life is short and we need to make the best of what we have. Sometimes the stark reality in that sentiment comes out and slaps you in the face. I have often looked around me at my friends, finding it so strange that they were getting married and some even having children, but when it comes to my contemporaries passing away, that is a completely different story. Death is an unfortunate phase of life when it snuffs out an amazing light so early. It is immutable though and as such all we can do is keep the memories alive in ourselves.
As I walked across the field to my cabin this evening I just watched the lights through the mist. In a way it was very surreal, walking and thinking about my friend who passed away last Monday, July 5. I knew what I was doing, I was trying to compose some kind of post in my head and while I thought all of these ideas that came to me were good, probably none of them will actually make it here. All of the thinking really just made me remember her and started to make me feel sad.
I remember the last time we were together. It wasn’t really that long ago. We met you at Squatters along with some of your other friends from the area. Your mother was there too. We had some food and a couple beers and caught up on old times. I am sure that neither of us thought that would be the last time that we would see eachother. At least it was a happy and fun time.
I met Macken at the University of Utah. She was a theatre student who did some work and internships with us at PTC. I don’t think that I ever actually realized that she was an EMT, but all things considered, it doesn’t surprise me. Macken was an amazing person and a great friend. She was a person who really did live life to the fullest all the time and I would imagine that it wasn’t easy given her medical history. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t see her happy. She was dedicated, hard-working, friendly, and kind. While we may not have been best friends, she was a great friend to have! I (and anyone else who did) was lucky to know her.
Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes the best of people get dealt the lousy hands. Sometimes you just have to look for the silver lining, the golden ticket. Hopefully the place beyond this harsh world we inhabit for our brief moment of life is actually a better place. Hopefully it is place where the things that plagued us in our Earthly life are set aside so that we can exist in some state of peace with the rest of the universe. I would certainly hope that if we move on to a non-corporeal existence that the physical “defects” of our bodies will cease to haunt us.
For Christine, a short poem that this sad time inspired:
Freedom comes in many forms
In days off,
and passing storms
Those left behind can’t understand
on beach’s sand
A laugh, a smile, a memory
of time spent
We are but travelers here on earth
we seek refuge
to death from birth
Life cannot be lived when you hide in fear
and keep them near
Life’s release to death will freedom give
yet in our hearts
This post is of course dedicated to Christine Macken and the Macken family. I am so glad that I had the chance to get to know and work with Chrstine. She was a wonderful person and a great friend. May you find greener pastures wherever you are and I hope you know that you will be missed. If you want to read more about this amazing person, you can follow this link. Rest in peace Mack.