I thought today would be easier. I don’t know why. I guess I just figured after everything I felt last night—after the gauntlet of emotions I experienced—I may have earned some mileage.
Denial? The first thing I said when J.R. told me was, “Nuh-uh.” As if he’d ever go so far to play such a cruel joke.
Anger? You betcha. You always were a dramatic son of a bitch. I loved you for it—except when it came at my expense.
Bargaining? Does playing time travel scenarios in my head to figure out a dozen or more ways to stop you count?
Depression? Pretty much always. It’s something I’ve figured out over the last year, and I’m working through it. I always meant to share that with you. I always meant to tell you that I accept my part in how we left things, but now I’ll never get to.
Acceptance? No. Not even close. But I would have settled for a numbness, if only for a time.
I’m having a lot of trouble holding it together right now. I’ve kept myself busy with things that I’ve been putting off. You’d say I’m pulling a J.R. Working away at some project to keep the demons at bay. Guilty. And it worked for a while. Then I realized that halfway through mowing my back yard that I was weeping.
I know that you weren’t you, when you made this decision. I know you—the real you—wouldn’t have done this. That said, I also know that you didn’t think you mattered much. I know you think no one cared, and no one would notice.
Your friendship got me through the hardest time of my life. You were challenging, funny, intelligent, encouraging, kind, and gracious. You played a part in making me the man I am now. There’s a hole in the Universe where you used to be. And it will never mend. The world may not notice, but we do. And those who didn’t know you, will look on us and see it. They won’t quite understand, but some piece of their hearts will look on us and know that something has changed forever.
Now you’re a hard, sharp memory that glares with harsh radiance. You blind us with grief and cut us with sorrow. Yet, we will still look on you. We will still handle you. Because we know it is the only way to smooth away your sharp edges and temper your radiance. One day you will be a polished stone that sits comfortably close to our hearts. One day your light will fill us with warmth.
Today your memory hurts.
Someday your memory will heal.
We love you. Now and always.