This weekend I had to say a permanent goodbye.
My friend John, a smart, lovable and funny 50-year-old, slipped away into a quiet place after a devastating fight with cancer.
During that fight, his wife, my equally admirable girlfriend, showed me what courage really is. A feisty ex-New Yorker, she never backed down from the challenge of dealing with every aspect of their everyday life; when John quickly became too weak to function, she emerged as even more than she imagined she could be.
Not that I'm painting her as a saint. Plenty of days I got my daily call that started with exasperation; nothing was simple in their last journey together except their love for each other.
And now, that love continues and changes.
Hellos and goodbyes, mourning and rejoicing. There's no getting around that eternal balance.
I love both my friends, and now I'm going to get to show one of them just how much. When life feels diminished by absence, the presence of our friends and family helps fill the abyss.
And for me, re-embracing my inner Tabu is my way of celebrating the continuation of beauty, sensuality and life.
John wouldn't have had it any other way.