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Pol McCann

Heartbreaking waste of a life. Sadly, another case of a man whose experiences of homophobia disenfranchised him from the rest of society, and as with so many in this community, found short term solace in unregulated, unsafe chemicals. Not only is the danger contained in the meth and its disinhibitions, but also in the potential for adding to the emotional and mentla health strains he was under.

Miss Bliss

The wreckage caused by drug and alcohol abuse is heart stopping. So many lives damaged in one desperate moment of euphoric despair. I don't know that your friend had a drug problem, maybe you don't know either...but the truth that our egos often won't accept is that no matter what we think it's a risk and it only takes one moment to die. I'm so sorry for everyone's loss here.


even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea.

Yes. It's horribly easy to convince people that the wrongness -- which we all feel -- is something inhering in their person.

Beautiful essay. & I'm sorry.


Jarrett, we don't know each other, but I've read Human Transit for forever, and I wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your friend. How heartbreaking.


Timely, for me. The situations are completely different, but the results would be the same. I too am agnostic, but considering the volume of stuff that looks like counsel I feel like there must be a God of some sort, but I cannot understand His message.

Paul Kidd


I also don't know you other than from humantransit, but I feel moved by your beautiful description of the confusion that comes from someone too young leaving. This man's partner, daughters, family and friends' lives will never be the same, but in time the light of day will shine again.

I believe it is important to feel the anger that one feels in such circumstances so that one can also later feel the forgiveness that is necessary to remember the lost one with happiness.

The bard was better with words than me:

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renown├ęd be thy grave!


Jarrett, that last paragraph really worries me. My take on this is quite different and I don't wish to confront but can't resist (I've tried, most of the day) putting another point of view.

Your belief in, or wish for (well motivated notwithstanding) annihilation of any spirit is from my view self (that's you) destructive. All spirit (mind) is joined.

A, in whatever state, cannot suffer unless A so chooses. Likewise, L and A's family, and yourself. Hurt cannot be inflicted if it is not accepted. All else then become lessons. Big lessons, for A, L, family, and yourself, and for me, and any others, trying to grapple with the density of the emotion here.

Seeking completion in time and space will fail, and hurt, but can be a great leap into understanding. A may look as if he took a backward step, but that is for him to resolve, as it is the others left. I wish him love and enlightenment, which is all he sought, if in all the wrong places, the context in which you use that word I suppose.



Obviously, this is the kind of terrain where religions part company and everyone must either find or invent their own truth. I understand the metaphysics that you propose, and on certain days I'd endorse it.

But for me, the transition from the A that I knew to an "all spirit" that is "joined" might as well be called annihilation. I cannot construct a concept of "all spirit" in which A remains present in any sense that means anything to me. But if you can, that's great.

Any sense in which A continues as a specific entity leads to the painful conclusion that I've described. He had enough trouble facing life's minor and ongoing guilt. To face the reality of having screwed up this badly and caused so much pain to the people who loved him would simply blow him to pieces. And a spiritual essence of A that would not have that experience is simply not A in any sense that matters, as seen from this side of death's foggy river, at least by me.

When constructing grief-managing myths, I'm more likely to imagine a place where A lives on as himself but without access to full knowledge of what he did in this life, and especially his last fateful surrender to loneliness. Some Vedic constructions of reincarnation work more or less like this. The spirit lives on without the memory. And yes, it would be nice to imagine A has that, that he's being born somewhere and will have a new shot at innocence. But with all respect to those who believe it, this feels too neatly constructed to solve my problems, and that's not how the universe works.

Again, this is not a judgment on anyone else's view. Just mine, and the various grief experiences down through the decades don't seem to change it.


Jarrett -

The 'all spirit' concept I envisage is just that, all spirit, and yes that does mean the elimination of A, and everyone else, but not their spirit, but their ego, their belief in separateness. I think we could easily agree here, just dancing around the words.

In terms of A dealing with what he has done, it is conjecture (and false I think) that he will be destroyed by what he has done, to himself and others. Spirit can't be destroyed. But the false 'he', the A who thinks he's A, not a part of the whole, can certainly be eliminated, but not by guilt, only by love, acceptance, of self not as self but as a part of the whole. Guilt will not blow his ego apart, but feed it.

If A lives on in denial of what he has done, then it is not because the knowledge isn't there, but because he is denying it. Spirit without memory, with the veil down, is not holy spirit (sic) to my way of thinking.

The universe works how the ego makes it, not the other way 'round. My belief is that we are the dreamer of the dream, not the product of the dream.

That you are grieving is so sad, grieve gently, loving yourself, and A. I hope I'm not starting to sound preachy, I hate that, but words and their subtleties are hard enough, especially over the net.

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