I’m being very careful not to generalize from this grieving experience. Someday other people close to me will die. It will not be like this. But this once, it can be and is like this, and I am grateful.
Along with all the multitudes of lessons to draw from Aaron’s life and death, I hope one can be an ongoing commitment to unconditional support for each other in times of great personal crisis.
The truth is, Aaron was very bad at asking for support. He didn’t want to be a burden on others. He believed he ought to be able to make it on his own. He demanded independence from those who loved him. He was eager to help anyone else, but to ask for help for himself was terrifying. That made his 2-year ordeal much harder in many ways.
I’ve learned what I believe are the right lessons from this, and I hope you all will as well. The world is often — though not always — naked and cold. Confronting it on our own is sometimes merely difficult, sometimes downright impossible. We have a responsibility to help each other through the hard times, and an equal responsibility to ask for help from each other.