Sorry for the radio silence, I planned on writing sooner but my thoughts have been elsewhere. On New Years Day, I lost a very dear friend. I am heartbroken and have not quite been able to wrap my mind around what has happened. His funeral is tomorrow and after many wasted, tear filled hours I have determined that I cannot afford to get there; one of the downsides of living on a tiny island.
I shared so much with Nick that it has been crushing me that I won’t be able to share it, that I won’t be able to hug his family, and that I won’t be able to be there to say goodbye. I have no idea how to reconcile this pain much less find closure so please bear with me, this is my best attempt. If I were able to be there, this is what I would say:
‘It is very easy, when someone takes their own life, to reduce them down to the ‘friend that committed suicide’. The trauma, anger, heartache and desperate want for understanding makes it easy for that to be the legacy left behind. I have joined in, fruitlessly searching for understanding, looking for explanations through buckets of tears, focused on the actions and events that ultimately led to the loss of our friend, lover, brother, cousin and son. But I refuse; I refuse to let that be the legacy left for someone I hold so dear.
So, Nick, here is what I remember:
I remember when I got off work early and you got up at 2am and walked 6 blocks to the parking garage in the freezing cold so I wouldn’t have to walk home at night, alone.
I remember when Kaitlyn was born and it took you 4 buses to get to the hospital but you were determined to get to hold her.
I remember you tying my little brother’s tie the day of his prom.
I remember watching you march up and down the stairs with a box in 1 arm and 1-year-old Madison in the other while we helped Erin move.
I remember when you moved in with your grandparents to take care of Grandpa.
I remember you dropping everything to spend all day baking cookies with Madi when Kaitlyn was in the hospital.
I remember you running out into the parking lot at the tattoo shop to help a little old lady out of the car and onto the sidewalk so she wouldn’t slip on the ice.
I remember laughing so hard it hurt when you thought we were talking about rubbing an omelet pan on our feet (we said Amope!).
I remember how lucky I felt to have you as my date to senior prom.
I could go on for days with “I remembers” but what it all comes down to, what I remember most, is what it felt like to be loved by you.
I can’t promise not to cry, or stop trying to understand but what I can promise is that I will never reduce you to “my friend that killed himself”. I promise to tell the girls stories, and show them pictures…and remind them how much their uncle Guk Guk loved them. I promise to remember how sassy of a dancer you were, how much you loved food, and how you were never afraid to be a goofball to make people smile. I remember your laugh, and your hugs, and your fierce love.
Thank you for being my friend. I love you. Rest easy. Roll Tide.