I live on a tiny street of only five homes. We don’t know our neighbors well, since we moved here just a few months ago, but we do know them. This week, one of them took his own life.
He took his life on a piece of open lawn that we all have access to, adjacent to a wide and beautiful intracoastal waterway.
I first learned of his passing in the early morning hours as police cars lined our street. I immediately remembered our last conversation.
I had no sense of his suffering just one week prior to his death, that last time we talked. We were walking together and talking about our love of green juice. He was drinking a green juice that I often drink.
This green juice was a thread between us.
“The greener the better,” I said, and he smiled.
When I learned that he had passed away, this exchange was the first thing that came to mind. I realized how tender, mixed up, and precious this human life is. Nobody drinks bitter, ginger infused, spicy and sour green juice for pleasure. No. Green juice is a harbinger of health, a statement of hope and self care.
Why was he drinking a green juice just days before he would die?
I cannot ever know the answer to this question and yet the question did not cease to turn in my mind.
Words are simply not enough. I can not offer his widow condolences that will suffice, nor can I write something that makes sense of his choice.
All I could do is walk to the very place where he died, that patch of green grass. It was night, and the soft Florida breeze was blowing. I could only hear the sound of a sail flapping, the intracoastal was perfectly dark. I offered little sparks of love to light his soul up to the heavens where he most surely wanted to go. I do so hope he made it all the way up there.
When I told this green juice story to another neighbor on our street, a salty and spunky retiree, he said, “That, my dear, is why I stay away from those juices and stick to the bourbon.”