It is 2:30 in the morning and my mind and heart will not let the day dissipate into dreams. Emotionally wrung out, wishful for sleep, yet helplessly tied to the events that have unfolded.

The mourning process is fickle, I’ve found. It was said today that the hardest part is when you are alone with your thoughts at night. I should have heeded those words more closely.

Most everyone else stayed at the celebration, raising their voices in song as they let out the raw emotions bottled up inside. Tears and laughter flowed in copious amounts. Yet by MC’ing the event I had said my peace, squeezed as much out as I could in one time. 

Weary and emotionally strung out from the eight hours, my wife, daughters and a family friend quietly said good bye and came back to the hotel room. Looking for peace but finding a restlessness instead.

When a loved one dies you think you will get to a point when you can “turn the page,” move forward in life. There is no singular point in time.

One conversation tonight suggested to think about our existence in terms of constants, implying time does not exist. Deep metaphysical thoughts at a most unexpected “time.” I warned him this would keep me up at night, a promise I seem all to able to keep.

Love is the most fundamental constant I can think of. For it alone taps into our deepest and most remote inner reality. Love pushes aside the false face we present to the world, brings out our inner goodness and makes us confront those parts which are not.

Love washed over the celebration today. Warmed us in the chilly Quebec air that tried to seep into the tent. Endless stories of good times and laughter banded us together, bonded us into one. False pretenses cast out.

Our voices broke, eyes melted, as we remembered Gaylord Watkins. We leaned on one another emotionally and physically. Letting out what needed to be released. Healing in our own ways.

When we were in a low, we took a break for food and wine while the jug band lifted us back up, enabling us to push forward through the heartache.

We will miss Gay. Miss his infectious laughter and good nature. Miss his adventures, whether we were a part of them or simply his telling of them. He embraced life fully, embraced people. He brought out the best in people, and maybe that is what we will miss the most.

If there is one constant in our world, it is love. Yet, the active love of Gaylord was special. It is the love that reaches out and penetrates through the doubt, worry, anger, or whatever self absorbed feelings consuming us. It raises our spirit, brings us close in mutual understanding, overcoming the false barriers we construct around ourselves.

I will miss Gaylord deeply, but love him always.