Remember how George, the main character played by Jimmy Stewards, finds that his life is too hard and considers ending it?
Then, he meets an angel, who shows him how George's life is affecting so many people around him. Yes, yes and yes! So many people are touched by us, by simple things in our midst that we never think about.
I'm looking at our lives right now after Brian's passing. Even though I will never know what actually happened the night he was hit, many people saw the assault, and they will think about the event and how it could have been different, both for Brian, for his friends, for the very person that gave him that mortal blow. All those young people will be affected by that event, for days, for months. They will talk about it, will warn their friends and relatives, will associate the one punch in anger as the fatal blow that forever changed their lives too.
One punch to the face.
The family and immediate friends came together and had a memorial. But, Brian's many co-workers and even his animals were not aware of how their lives would change forever in just a few days. Projects had to be re-assigned, paperwork redirected, appointments and schedules changed. I know this because I had Brian's daily calendar with me after we picked it up at the police station, and there were reminders going off all the time. Our boy's high tech phone scheduled, reminded him of times and places needing him, paid his bills, navigated him to places he had never been to, even listed the grocery needs he had.
I'm looking at his life in awe. He had officiated at one of his friend's wedding; he had applied for a patent, had just solved a major problem with a device he was building. He had saved every penny to buy a house. Had done so because he wanted a dog! Then, his nesting instincts kicked in and he looked for the love of his life. His life was full of exciting possibilities slowly turning into realities.
Hi dog Butters is with a young friend in Long Beach, across the street from her old house. His cat Newkie is with us, in a home surrounded by giant trees and water. She's adjusting, cuddling up on Brian's blankets we brought up with us.
I'm not mentioning the obvious: how his fiance' life has changed! How everything she was dreaming has changed. Choosing a life partner, building dreams and envisioning your future are at the heart of human endeavors. The cost of this loss to her is limitless!
I'm not counting all the expenses that come with this event. Not just for the funeral, for the Memorial, for the settling of his estate. I'm thinking about the cost of investigating, preparing for the trial, court time, legal representation. I'm thinking about all the people who will miss their work, their families, their other obligations.
I can imagine how his neighbors in Long Beach feel every time they see Butters on a walk, at the dog park, chasing a ball.
I know my neighbors here in Oregon all know the fragility of life; they are mostly senior citizens, used to seeing a moving truck disassemble a household after someone dies at 90.
We are not used to seeing a young man's life disassembled!