When my friend Roger died nineteen years ago in a wildfire, I dreamed about him for months. I woke up one morning feeling the weight of his palm on my head. This was a gesture he would never have done in real life: as firefighters we were taught to be tough and checked our emotions at the door. While we had a bond forged by helping each other make it the last half mile of a run along a hard shell road and by watching each other's backs as we dragged drip torches through southern rough, we weren't huggy people. Still, I felt the warmth of his hand as I sat wondering.
Last night, on the last day of Ken's life on this planet, a sunset unrolled across the mountains that had us all believing he was telling us something. We are used to sunsets here, the sky a canvas we all watch. This one was different though. It was radiant and beautiful and I had to think that our friend was sending us a message from the other side, whatever that other side is. I like to think that it was this: I hear you, I see you, and I am okay.