Taurin, this is for you.

Today I wont be sharing any recipes. Today I write with a heavy heart…

When anyone is touched by death, it is awful and terrifying. When that death hits close to home, it is devastating. Death becomes a tragedy when it is someone young who passes away. We try to rationalize it, make excuses, promises to ourselves. We convince ourselves that there is some greater plan, that there are reasons. Today I lost someone. Someone young and full of life. Someone that I had loved deeply, that I had shared incredible moments with. Someone who I had taken for granted and assumed would always be part of my life in some way or another. Today I am not rationalizing. Today I am angry.

Taurin Bear McGrath lost his battle with cancer last night and the world lost one of the good ones. One of the great ones.

My friend Taurin. I lost a friend. A light went out in the world and my heart is broken.

Taurin was a beautiful human being, inside and out. He was charismatic, kind, fun and wise. He literally lit up the rooms he walked into. Writing this now, I still cannot believe that he isn’t in this world anymore. It was a better place with him in it.

I hadn’t seen Taurin in over ten years. He never met my husband and I never had the chance to meet his beautiful wife. He never got to hold my little girl but I had told him about her. We only spoke rarely. Time passed, we changed, our lives and circumstances changed. We were oceans away- on many levels. But the memories remain… the emotions. Those don’t fade. They are here now, running through my mind over and over again. I can’t make them stop. I don’t want to. I want them to stay forever, clear and strong- because that way, Taurin is still here. Smiling. Laughing. Spreading his light. That is the one thing that I can be sure of- that Taurin will continue to exist in the memories of so many of the lives that he touched- the people he loved and who loved him back…

I lost a friend today but the world lost one incredible beautiful human being.

This is a blog about health, nutrition, recipes, wellness, and the like. But today I can’t talk about that. I can’t share a recipe and tout the health benefits of eating clean. I am angry today. I am having a hard time seeing the point to all of it.

Taurin was an active, adventurous and very healthy guy. I remember in college, he would take me hiking when I wanted to sit in a pub drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. He still hung out with me though…and maybe even influenced my healthy habits a bit. He forced me to learn to surf in Costa Rica when I thought that my body couldn’t physically handle it. Taurin pushed the limits and pushed me to be a better person.

The point is, that Taurin died of cancer in his 30’s and for no reason. Or maybe there is a reason. It isn’t for me to say. He wasn’t a smoker, he led a healthy lifestyle, he was active. His life was full of love and satisfaction. He was a calm and serene soul. A beautiful soul. He was surrounded by friends who loved him, a beautiful wife- his soul mate, a loving family, a fulfilling career, travel, etc. his life was the life he deserved, a seemingly perfect life. And then he was diagnosed with stage IV Esophageal cancer. He was 34. He battled for two years- always with a positive outlook…always with that huge beaming smile of his. We all believed he would beat this. If anyone could beat cancer, Taurin could have beaten it. But in the end, this fucking disease took him from us.

Taurin’s life was cut short. He had so many more memories to make, adventures to go on, and lives to touch. I am still making sense of it. I am still trying to figure out why…. and I look at all these people around me, living unhealthy lifestyles, dissatisfied, and they are all still here. Taurin is not. I don’t understand. I can’t even begin to understand.

What I do know is that I will try harder to live life the way Taurin lived life…with positivity love and light. I am not ready to find the reason behind Taurin’s illness and subsequent death. I don’t want to rationalize it yet. I can accept that life is fragile, that our time here on this earth is finite. But I can’t accept that Taurin has been taken from us. The point is, that he should still be here. He shouldn’t have died. Maybe when the tears subside, when the truth of his passing settles, I will be able to find some way to honor his life and the impact he made on me. I will try to enjoy every moment just that much more. I will try to be more loving, to be more kind. Kindness was one of Taurin’s greatest qualities. He knew how to appreciate every day. I will try to do that. To appreciate every breath- because each one is a small gift. Life should be measured in the moments that take your breath away. I am comforted in knowing that in Taurin’s short years on this earth, he had plenty of them.

Possibly I can learn to live a little bit more like Taurin lived- he knew how to live in the moment. He approached everything with positivity and light…even in the darkest moments. He was generous with his heart and his soul. He gave without ever asking for much in return. He was full of joy…so much joy. I will try to bring joy to the world the way Taurin did…even for a day. He loved nature. He loved his family. He was quick to spread his love and never afraid to show it. He accepted even the most flawed of us into his life with open arms.

I am lucky to have known Taurin. I am so lucky that he was part of my life. Taurin had an infectious smile…literally. A huge, white toothed, smile that lit up his whole face. You couldn’t help but feel lighter when you were around him. And you know what? In all the many years I had known him, I never told him that. I wish I had. He probably would have. Taurin was like that.

Taurin, you will forever be in my heart.

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