I should be working, but I can't concentrate. I can't concentrate, partially because I couldn't sleep. That tends to happen when you find out that you're never again going to see a loved one. My best friend took his own life yesterday morning. He took his own life, and all I can do is sit here and stare at the blank page... stare at the page because the words won't flow. Well, that's not exactly correct. Words are flowing, but they're not really coherent thoughts... they're pieces and fragments of notions, floating through the fog in my mind, just out of reach of my consciousness. With this in mind, I hope you'll bear with me, because I'm going to write just to keep going. I suspect this will be a bit directionless.
One thing I won't do is ask why. I know why. He's been very depressed for a very long time. He battled with alcohol for years. He was having problems with his marriage. It all just became too much for him to bear.
One thing I won't do is blame myself. I've known for years that this was a possibility, and I acted accordingly. When he wanted to discuss his depression, I listened. When he expressed hopelessness, I encouraged him to seek treatment (which he did) and told him that he was loved and needed. When he wanted to focus on enjoying life, we lived. I did the best I could with the information I had at the time. In the end, the decision to check out was his, and his alone. There was nothing I could to do stop him, and there was nothing anyone else could have done.
I will allow myself to be angry at him. What he did was horrific and selfish. He had no right to do this... to leave the utter devastation that his parents, brother, wife and two young girls are suffering. He took the coward's way out.
I will allow myself to grieve for and forgive him. I know that his brain wasn't working. I know that he was suffering as much as any cancer patient or trauma victim. In the end, it really doesn't matter how he died. What matters is that I will never see my best friend again.
I will carry on through the grief and do my best to help lighten the burden of those who love him as much as I do. I do this partially because I share and understand their grief, partially because I believe that he would want me to help them, and partially to honor his memory.
I will carry on with life. Life is for the living. I cannot and will not fail to appreciate God's beauty. I will try to remember that you must experience despair and grief in order to fully appreciate joy.
I will try to bring some sort of meaning to his death. If you are suffering from depression, I beg you to seek help. My friend came to the mistaken conclusion that the world would be better without his presence. I promise you this is not the case. The world right now matches my mood... cold, gray and rainy. It's as if God himself cast a pall on the world to express His sadness at a soul's needless passing. If you know someone suffering from depression, I ask that you urge that person to seek help. It may or may not help, but at least you will know that you tried. That knowledge may make all the difference if they follow the path of my friend.
I will pray that he finally knows the peace that sought all these years. I will pray for his parents, brother, wife and girls, asking that He provide them with the strength to get through this.
I will eventually remember the good times.
I will miss my best friend. That will never stop.
I'm now going to cry some more.