When someone dies of an overdose there is no right way to take that news. Do you feel pity? Disgust? Shame? Guilt? Or do you just decide it's too uncomfortable and try not to think about it at all? It would be a lie to say that someone passing away from drug related causes has no barring on how you look back on their life. Although it's not his whole story, how Blake struggled in life and what took him in death are integral parts of it. To ignore these aspects of him would mean missing out on the invaluable messages we can take from them.
Although Blake's addiction and death are both ugly parts of him to think about, I choose to remember everything about him. I wouldn't call it "the good and the bad," but there were obviously facets that shined brighter than others. Regardless, I've grown to love all of them even though some pieces are sparkly and others dark. To me, that's what true love is. When you decline to acknowledge an aspect of Blake or focus solely on another, you don't do him justice. He was the sum of all parts of him. Every piece is both a blessing and a lesson.
It crushes me to think of someone judging Blake's character because of his addiction or the fact that he overdosed. Yes, these are valid parts of him and yes, I would like to pretend they didn't exist. It would be easier to deny them or tuck them away in a mental vault and throw away the key. But every day I make a conscious decision not to. It's challenging to think about these things positively, but I strive to see them not as degradations of who he was, but as a legacy of hope for others. If sharing any part of his life or my coping with his death speaks to someone and helps them, then I know that even the darkest pieces of him can become a gift.
Although Blake was far from a saint, he was an incredible man who taught me lessons that I'll never forget. The best one was that in every negative there is always a positive. The key is not to forget the bad things, but instead process them in a way that exposes the pearl of wisdom that lies within. To say abusing drugs and dying from them is an awful fate would be a gross understatement. But we can learn a lot from both how he excelled and his downfalls, how he lived and the way that he died. If we give the negatives a chance to show their positives, we can come to appreciate Blake's entire story and all of the messages it delivers.