As I hold the arm of my dying friend the only thing I could think of is… telling him, “I got your back and I love you.”
He lay there so still, so lifeless, yet you could hear the last moments of a shallow breath of life… I lean over and kiss his beautiful drawn cheek. I am thinking, I know you are in there, I love you, that’s all. He moves a small bit as my lips touch his emaciated face. You wouldn’t have seen it if you weren’t looking closely. My heart wants to cry for the impending loss and yet, I know he is complete. He is just learning how to let go, let go of the earth and the last breath of promise. All of us feel that it came too fast and now this is it.
I know many of the conversations over the past 3 years were full of frustration, anger, sadness, and feeling helpless that he was not making a difference with his non-profit he so lovingly built from nothing.
“It’s not enough,” I can hear him say. Again and again, Rich felt repeatedly side-swiped. If it wasn’t someone missing a deadline after agreeing to help him with a project, or people just not showing up. Rich felt it to the core. Defeated on so many levels and no one cares was the tattoo on his heart. In the midst of so much uphill struggle to raise awareness and get things launched he continued to push all his agendas and vision forward. It was always one thing or another, blocking, impeding, or stalling efforts. Yet he never stopped. He always told me that I inspired him … I said how? He said that when he wanted to give up…he thought of me and my Never Give Up show.. and he would often turn to me and say: “Never Give UP!” I would hug him and say, “exactly!”
I know there is breath still in his body, but the soul of Rich Sundance Owen is hanging on by a thread.
I will now grab my guitar and sing the song I wrote for my buddy and amazing way-shower. This passionate being that saw the destruction of our oceans and did something about it is now passing on to support on the other side. Into the dreamland where he can reign as a God and whisper in our ears what to do next. I honor this man, his humanness, his grace, his willingness to love and forgive even at the expense of it all…
A gorgeous simple man who could do anything from building a house to an aquaponic tank, to a gentle word of saying come to my house if times get tough. I am left with so many beautiful memories and how he played with me, believed in me and was so generous all the time.
His let’s do it attitude gave… gives me hope. Time was too short and yet I am so very blessed to have known and worked with him; not having this extraordinary being here to play with anymore, there is an echo… Looking into the face of death I am reminded once again to just live deeply, with presence and true gratitude. Embrace passionately and deeply the things and people I love. You never know when it is your time to make room for what’s next. Thank you, Rich, for making a impact, because you certainly did.
Rich Sundance Owen died 1-4-17
This post was written 1-5-17