Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?

-Kahlil Gibran

I posted this memorial site 11 years after Mike and Courtney died. Going through the pieces that remain- the little glimpses of their faces, their voices, their writings, has brought back many memories. But these memories, like most that collect in our minds, are infinitely flawed. I trace certain memories every day, wearing down rutted neural pathways in my mind. Other memories have morphed, shifted, transformed. As I get older, I understand pieces of their lives that I never understood before, and in some ways, feel like I am missing old friends that I never got to meet.

There is a tendency to immortalize unfinished stories. To remember only the good parts, and imagine that everything that could have happened would have been perfect, had the story only been given the chance to finish. But over and over, as I replay the memories in my mind, I feel that their lives were not simple and perfect and beautiful and cut off too soon. Their lives were deeply complex, bursting with questions, curiosity, and struggles. They asked hard questions, and searched for meaning in their world. They took big risks— not in the sense of jumping out of planes or moving to foreign countries— but in the sense of being vulnerable with people, and building relationships and communities that treaded deeper waters.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

-Kahlil Gibran

It has been my greatest delight to grow up with Michael, to have shared time and friendship with Courtney, to be a part of the Zoo School community, and to carry their legacy in my heart. It is also my greatest sorrow. It is impossible to have it any other way.

If you knew Mike and/or Courtney, I invite you to share a memory of them by clicking on the Share link above. We always love to hear stories.

-Megan Berg
19 January 2013