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April 9, 2008

A hui hou

he was driving home from work, so they say, when he fell asleep at the wheel ten blocks from his house. when his car hit the tree, he was instantly killed. i'd known him for almost ten years; we'd adventured our way together through the crazy world of making television. he was a camera operator; as an audio mixer, i'd been paired with him before, and our jobs together were always more fun than work. he loved life with a fierceness that made people take notice; a native Hawaiian, he truly embodied that famous aloha spirit. he was generous too; with his time, his smile, his possessions. sometimes we would talk about what we were going to do after we retired from tv production. he was re-launching a clothing line he'd started, and would lament that he was a bad businessman because he just wanted to give everything away.

his sudden, unexpected death has hit our little community of production folk really hard. T.T. knew him too; when he was with me on a job in Hawaii, they'd gotten to know one another over the generous lending of a surfboard. it seems impossible that someone so alive, someone whose life burned so bright and strong, would be gone, in an instant, without warning.
i struggle now with why his story had to end now, so swiftly. i struggle with seeing the grief of my work family. i struggle with knowing that we daily live life on the razor edge; it takes not much at all to tip our fragile selves into the end of our earthly existence. i struggle with my deeply-held belief in life after life; "i know that my Redeemer lives and i will stand with Him on that day," but what about THIS day? what about the gaping loss and all the questions and whys now?

and so this weekend, at the memorial service, i waded into the Pacific Ocean, tore the lei i had made from around my neck, and tossed the flowers into the water. as i watched the waves take the blossoms out to sea, i said A hui hou -- until we meet again -- to my friend.

Keoni, thank you for all you gave to so many; if we can live life with even just a little more aloha, a little more fearlessness, it is because of you.

Posted by hadashi at April 9, 2008 6:15 PM


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