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I lost my best friend, my very first true best friend, the one who taught me how to love and how to be loved back, to suicide in July 2015. The following is my thoughts when I found out he had taken his own life…

…4 months after it happened.

You see, we had lost touch and I had made myself invisible to everyone around him. I don’t typically believe in regret – it only leads to negativity – however in this case I truly regret leaving his circle. I’m still not sure why I felt it necessary. I missed his memorial. I missed the late night call. I missed saying goodbye.

Because the brain is a funny thing, I seem to have blocked out most of the hardcore grieving.

So here, from my Facebook and various platforms, the recounting of my thoughts and feelings during that time:

November 11, 2015

The journey of life is such a strange thing. I just learned that the person who was my light when I couldn’t see through the darkness left this life a few months ago.

November 12, 2015

I woke up this morning and he was still gone. It wasn’t all just a horrible nightmare giving me chills while I sleep. It’s real life.

I went to sleep crying and I woke up crying. My 2 year old keeps asking why I’m crying. Mommy’s just sad baby. So very sad.

“There will come a day when the joy runs out. Do not ask “What could I have done?” but instead ask “What will I do now?”  Think of me when you hear music, and laugh at something you remembered me saying. Know that I am silent and still, and believe me when I say that sweet nothingness is preferred to this life of disgrace, heartache, and pain. I will be no longer be a burden. There will come a day when the joy runs out.”

Pat wrote this on his Facebook February 18th, 2012.

I don’t recall what inspired him to write it, but I saved this note because he put his soul into words.

Words that rang true, unfortunately, way too soon.

So tonight, at Pat’s request, I’m asking myself, “What will I do now?” Instead of the “What should I have done? What could have I done?” that has plagued me since I found out what had happened. Months ago. That I did not know had happened.

Months ago.

I lost him through choices that were very much my own. What will I do, now that my heart is incomplete? I will think of him when I hear music. I will laugh when I remember something he said. I will remember that he isn’t here suffering in the prison of his dark thoughts and insecurities. I will continue to love him as if he were still here, because I don’t know how not to.

In a serendipitous way, he’s the reason that my husband and I are together today. I had stopped at Walmart to grab some books because I was preparing for an extended visit with my friend, Pat, who was having a rough night. The (future) husband just happened to be building a feature nearby. We got to talking and planned to hang out soon.

Three days later, we were sure that we’d never be apart again.

Pat officiated our wedding in the rose garden at Gage Park a year later to the day.

We had lost touch the last couple of years. I’d gotten busy raising kids and building our new extended family and Pat had been busy working and playing his beloved music. We met for coffee at Denny’s about two and a half years ago to catch up and share memories. He had changed and so had I and we couldn’t find our common ground anymore. We both just kind of let our relationship slip into fun memories and the occasional longing to be together, where we used to be.

I’m a firm believer that everyone comes into your life to give you a lesson, good or bad. Pat taught me many lessons in our time together; a hug is the best medicine, astrophysics is fascinating, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan and Alexei Filippenko are awesome to watch in lecture. That music is a piece of my soul and goes deeper than a Top 40 pop radio station. Today Pat is teaching me to not take for granted the people that come into your life unexpectedly and leave the same way.

I love you, Pat. I’ll forever miss your hugs and dumb Assy McGee references.

I’ll never forget your smile.

January 1, 2016

You’re on my mind a lot today, buddy. There was a curious string of songs in my Pandora shuffle and while I know that if you were here you’d tell me how silly I was being and it’s just a coincidence, but I can’t help but think that it’s you giving me a little boost when you know the day is rough.

Miss you, been missing you. Wish I could tell you that.

(To my friend in a private chat) I can’t say this on my picture because it’s too public. But I’m having such a hard time dealing with his loss.

It’s like a shot to the gut. I feel like I failed him. He couldn’t function on a “hey how ya doing” every six months. He was a full-contact, likes-to-hang-out-in real-life type of guy.

I knew that about him and I just, I feel so badly that I let him grow away from me.

That I let myself become a part of his list of “people that don’t give a shit” because I totally gave a shit. I guess I’m really struggling with what I know his last thoughts were before he took his life.

I know he was listing off all the people that had failed him because I talked him down from that thought before. Many times. I have a Facebook messenger full of me talking him down from that. I wasn’t there that time to talk him down from that.

I know that’s not fair of me to put that on myself. I know that intellectually, but it hurts my heart so fucking much.

This. This haunts me so

He was there for me in my bad time. I was there for him in many of his bad times. I wasn’t there in his last bad time. I don’t know.

I feel selfish. For not trying harder to make him a part of my life. I’m struggling in the shoulda coulda woulda. It’s a favorite past time of mine. I keep pep talking myself “You didn’t know, There’s no way you could’ve known, he shut himself off, too”. I’m just really struggling today. I’ve been in tears for hours. I’m just struggling with my choices. I’m hurting.

February 23, 2016

It’s your birthday today. Normally, I’d be constructing some smart assed email joking about getting old and having you sneak goodies in to me at the nursing home. Instead I’ll be heading out to see your headstone in the country, along with the kiddos so I’m not tempted to be out there for too long. Missing you Pat. Today and everyday. Happy Birthday.

July 3, 2016

It’s been a year. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. What I wouldn’t give for a Pat hug today. Instead, I’m watching astrophysics documentaries, some of your very favorites, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson and of course Alexei Fillipenko. They’re not the same without you here to dumb them down for me, but it feels like the right thing to do.

I’m looking forward to catching up with your family later today and celebrating your life and sharing memories. Until we meet again, I love you and miss you so, so much.

July 3, 2017

It’s been 2 years that you’ve been gone. I still miss you every day. I find myself in tears when I come across random 6 ft tall bald dudes, with sweet beards sporting some chucks. There are more of those than you would expect. It’s never you, if only I could convince my brain to stop looking. What I wouldn’t do for one more Pat hug. Love dove.

February 23, 2018

Happy Birthday dear friend. Watching some Cosmos tonight and thinking of you. Miss you so much, today and every day.

“when you meet that person.. a person. one of your Soulmates. Let the connection, relationship be what it is. It may be five mins, five hours, five days, five months. Five years. A lifetime. Let it manifest itself, the way it is meant to. It has an organic destiny. This way if it stays or if it leaves, you will be softer from having been Loved this authentically. Souls come into, return, open, and sweep through your life for a myriad of reasons, let them be who and what they are meant.”

― Nayyirah Waheed