On Life And Death

Dancing At My Friend's Wedding

I’ve just returned from Jacksonville. I was there for a beautiful wedding of two beautiful friends. They seem so perfect for each other.

At the wedding, I couldn’t help but think about my future wedding and what it’ll look like. I couldn’t help but think of the one I love. I couldn’t help but think of how awesome it’ll be to be surrounded by family and friends who came just for me or just for him…or for both of us. I couldn’t help but think about how great it’d be to one day make a naturally personal thing so public. As I watched my two friends do all of this stuff among their friends and family, it just made me so happy for them. And it made me so happy at where I’m at in my love life. Watching two lives merge into this joint life was just…great.

In a few days, I may very well be sitting in another place with another group of family and friends celebrating the life of another friend. Only this time, we’ll be celebrating his life because he’s dead. This friend was in his 20s. He was someone I worked closely with for three years and still regularly talked to. I helped him come out. I ran with him. I screamed at him and laughed with him and everything in between. He was a hell of a cook. When he laughed, he sounded like a woman who had just seen the funniest thing in her life. At work, we’d roll our eyes. Now, I can’t help but realize how memorable it was. How nice he was.

I’m not the guy who thinks that we should gloss over our feelings about people in death. I think we should be honest about who they were and what they did. Sure, we naturally think of the positive things, but I think a person is more than just the positive stuff. I know in my life, the negative things I’ve done or my not-so-wonderful actions/emotions have also shaped my life. And they’ve made all the positive stuff even better.

When I die, I don’t want it to be an opportunity for some pastor to try and bring more people to his religion. I don’t want it to be entirely sad. I want it to truly be a memorial. That means lots of music and lots of laughter. I want people to know that I was sometimes an ass and didn’t mean to be – or did. I want people to know that I tried to help others when I could, but wasn’t infallible and knew that. I want people to know that I loved and loved fully when people deserved it. I want people to know that I was gay. I want people to know that I talked a lot and was frequently obnoxious. I want my work friends to talk about my singing showtunes as I produced the news. I want everyone to know how much I loved them and how much I loved the love of my life.

When I get married, I want my wedding to be beautiful, filled with love from all sides, romantic, special…awesome. I want there to be tons of singing and laughter and food. I want dancing. And while I haven’t figured out the whole garter thing quite yet, I know Daniel and I will come up with something!

What’s funny to me after spending the last few days simultaneously thinking about a wedding and a funeral is how many similarities I think they should have. The biggest difference I can think of so far is that I obviously don’t want my funeral to be for another century or longer, but my wedding better happen MUCH sooner than that! Oh, and I guess I won’t technically be at one of them (or will I?!). But they are both celebrations, just for different reasons.

I’m begging you to tell those you love that you love them. Not in five minutes. Now. You never know what could happen and while that fear of the unknown shouldn’t dominate your life, it should encourage you to live each moment as if it is your last and make sure everyone knows how you feel about them. Now is the time. Regret sucks, even when you can try to make things better. I can’t imagine what it’s like when you can’t.

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Comments on: "On Life And Death" (6)

  1. Great post. The last two mornings, the first thing I’ve done is to thank God for another day. Sounds cliche, but I really am thankful to just wake up. I feel like at our age, we shouldn’t have to think it’d be possible we wouldn’t wake up. I’ll never forget Black Friday with you and Butters … although it was a stressful day, it was very memorable. Thanks for an insightful post … I love you, soulmate! 🙂

  2. Kyle Sieg said:

    Thanks! Love you, too!

  3. Jonathan Durst said:

    What makes this worse, is attached is a copy of the facebook message I wrote to Kyle. Now, yes, He doesnt know me. But after sitting for 10 years with Butters as a friend, I do know alot about him. He will erase this post. But I have it saved.You heard about Steve Butters right? Tragic.and you of course dont respond. It’s funny. Steve told me so much about you. And most of his “friends” didnt know about his PRIVATE LIFE. THEY WILL SOON12 minutes agoKyle SiegI’m sorry – I don’t know what this is all about, but I’m not responding b/c I don’t know you. Nothing personal, but I just don’t know you. And I am doing other stuff than constantly monitoring my Facebook page. But with that tone and considering I don’t know you, I’d rather not hear from you again. Best of luck to you.Best of Luck…hmmmm…maybe one day people will explain it to him.It shocks me that people, MEDIA people are so closed minded to allow themselves NOT TO LISTEN before they JUDGE SOMEONE.And then he did the thing that shows me his age, experience and knowledge of humanity… HE BLOCKED ME FROM FACEBOOK.CANT WAIT FOR LATER THIS WEEK….

  4. Kyle Sieg said:

    Sir, I’m not erasing your many posts because I’m afraid of “the truth” or whatever it is you’re saying. I’m erasing them because they are nonsensical, accusatory and unnecessarily combative.Also, I blocked you on Facebook because you told me to “take the tone and shove it up your ass.” Then you told me to “come up to Jax” and say it to your face – that it wasn’t a threat, but I “can’t run then.”Sir, I’m not sure why you think I need to run. I’m not sure what you think is happening. I approved this comment of yours because I am willing to publicly back up what was a private conversation between us.And while I still don’t understand how you construed my response to mean “fuck you” or understand what you meant in your message by your “side” and my “side” meeting at the funeral as if this were some competition, rivalry or duel, I’ll also say to everyone what I said to you in response to that once-private dialogue:”I’ll be there for the reason I’d expect everyone else to be there: To remember Butters. I don’t think he’d want any sort of combative exchange there for any reason, but perhaps you disagree. EIther way, I don’t plan to engage in anything of the sort and I don’t understand why there’s a reason to be so rude.”See, sir, I stand by my statements because I believe the are reasoned, well thought out and frankly kind compared to what I’ve been receiving in return.So – again, I ask – please stop writing me in any shape or form. Please do not make contact with me or my friends in person or online. Please stay away. Thanks.

  5. Caitlin Byers said:

    Kyle, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I, too, lost a friend unexpectedly this past week and it can be tough. It’s okay to remember the bad but focus on the good.

  6. Kyle Sieg said:

    Aww, I’m sorry to hear that! And I completely agree about focusing on the good!

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