Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, a time where I reflect on an important piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for Brian Hudson, a close friend of mine who just passed away.
There are a number of people who have truly touched my life in the rooms of recovery, but sometimes they are taken from this world far too soon, as was the case of Brian who was only 56 at the time of his passing.
I originally met Brian at a meeting for one of my recovery programs back in 2014 and from the onset, I could tell he had a good soul and I liked him immediately. Have you ever met someone who you could just be yourself around, and there were never any judgments by them? That was Brian.
When I originally made his acquaintance and told him I was gay, he humorously said one word, “So?” and then laughed. He then followed that by saying he didn’t judge and was happy to get to know me. Every week after that I saw him at the meeting we attended together on Thursday nights where I always received a warm welcome and embrace from him.
Eventually after some time passed, Brian and I began to talk on the phone from time to time as well, offering each other support on our recovery journeys. Brian was quite empathetic with all my health issues and frequently helped me to feel better after speaking with him. He also knew how to make me laugh and that’s something so very important to a guy like me who struggles to find any humor on most days with all the pain I continue to feel inside.
The first time I got to hang out with Brian outside of 12 Step recovery was when we took an entire Saturday afternoon and evening and went up to Ann Arbor to see the movie “Whiplash” together, as well as to grab a meal and a coffee afterwards. We had such a great time together that day. On some level, I realized then that I could talk to Brian about anything, as I’m sure he would have said the same with me. We definitely had a kinship, as I know he did with many others because he was just that type of a good-natured guy. He really made everyone feel accepted and loved, which is why I looked forward to any time I got to spend with him.
One of the most memorable ones was when we went to the Michigan Speedway to see the Nascar race in August of 2016. One of mutual recovery friends was the announcer for the race and invited us to attend. For the both of us, it was our first time seeing a professional race here in the area and we spent the entire day together walking around, laughing, interacting with professional sports writers, talking about recovery, and getting to know each other on a much deeper level. Have you ever had one of those days where you didn’t want it to end, because you had such a great time with someone? That was how this day was at the racetrack and it will be forever remembered in my memory as probably the closest I felt to Brian in my friendship with him.
While I’m not the best in making friends these days, Brian was one that I feel God put into my life exactly when I needed it and we simply clicked right from the start. I will truly miss him, especially knowing I won’t be creating any more lasting memories in our friendship, but I at least have a number of wonderful memories to be thankful for in the times we spent together both in the rooms of recovery and outside of them.
Brian Hudson was a beautiful soul who blessed this earth with his presence every day he lived on it. I pray he’s now at peace with God, jamming on his guitar in Heaven, and entertaining everyone up there like he did down here. I am forever grateful for you my friend and look forward to the day we break bread again together on the other side of the veil.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson