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Warmth of a Painful Past · 1:48am Feb 14th, 2021

It's been three years now. It hurts to even think about what might've been going through his mind that night. Even after three years my best friend's suicide leaves an emotional sting at the mere mention. As much as it hurts though, I think I want to take today not as an opportunity to vent about that pain, but maybe to reflect on something that could better honor his memory and our friendship.

Most days I can think clearly now. The swarming fog of depression has lifted and everything seems to make a lot more sense than it used to. On days like these, that's all different. It's extremely difficult to keep my head up through all the regret and blaming that comes with an event like this. My thoughts become muddled and every time I reach for something tangible, all I can grab out of the murky water of my mind is negativity. "You could have done this" or "You were never enough" or "It's just going to happen again with you" and so on. I've gotten good at fighting these stray thoughts over the last year, but some days are harder than others. In the end that kind of pain never really gets easier to live with anyway.

So instead of dwelling on that awfulness, I want to do something different this year. I want to talk about how even on a day like today we can find something to be grateful for, something positive to strive towards. Everything came to an abrupt and tragic end and so often that fact has framed every memory I have of him. Everything has become so bittersweet because of how things ended I often forget to be thankful for the joy we had together in the first place. The pain is a constant reminder of just how much he meant to me in the first place, and the best thing I could ever do is properly cherish those memories and be thankful I got to live a life with the opportunity to have them in the first place.

All things end eventually, some more disappointingly and painfully than others, but we can't let those endings ruin the experiences we had, and we definitely can't let them ruin new beginnings either. If we take anything from what's happened, it should be to learn from my mistake. Cherish the people you're close to. Value the people who made you smile in the past. Be thankful for the happy memories and for the people you shared them with. Even if you've had a falling out or have been separated by distance or have lost touch, don't settle for letting that be the end. Reach out to those people and tell them you still care. Share those happy memories again, even if it's only for a brief conversation. Mend the bridges and right the wrongs if you have had a falling out. Life is too short to be consumed by negativity and leave the one thing that matters most to die. I know sometimes it's awkward and some situations are more difficult than others, but trust me when I say that by the end of your life, you'll be glad that you cherished those friendships as much as you could while you had them.

In honor of that I'd like to relive the memory of the first night we met. I must've been 11 or 12 and him 14 when I spent the night over at my great-grandmother's house that night (my best friend was my step-uncle by marriage, so that's how we first met). While the rest of my family was busy with funeral proceedings, him and I spent the day over a PS2 playing the third Ratchet & Clank. We stayed up all night alternating between gathering up crystals from the King Ameboids and talking about ninjas and Naruto and all awesome stories we had of being a little too reckless with toys we probably shouldn't have had or our epic encounters with the neighborhood animals. Even on the first day we met we were practically best friends instantly, and honestly that feeling never went away for as long as we were friends, even if we were separated by hundreds of miles. When I think of that night, I can still manage to smile at least. Even though he's gone and we won't be able to make those memories anymore, I still want to be thankful for that joy.

If you've read this far, thank you for indulging me. To honor his memory and cherish those little things we keep in our hearts, in the comments tell me about a memory you keep close. Even if they're gone or even if they're not, if it's special, feel free to share it so their memory can be immortalized, even in a small way here. It would brighten my day a little to see those memories shared, and maybe reliving it will bring a little light to your life as well. Thank you in advance if you decide to share.

Even under the shroud of freezing negativity, there's still a sun shining at the other end of that fog. Don't let the place you find yourself at in the moment frame the world beyond it, as there's still warmth and love to be found even through the darkest and most hopeless of places. Cherish the ones that have given you that gift, even if they're no longer with us or you didn't have the best ending, because there isn't anything in life that deserves to be treasured more.

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Comments ( 10 )

Forgive me for being trite, but I think Hamilton's George Washington said it well when he said "Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder." I'll go further and add "But it's a worthwhile endeavor."

I'm glad you're still with us. I can't claim to understand your pain, because that's a part of the experience, sadly, but I hope you find some joys to offset it.

My best friend and I have known each other since the summer between kindergarten and first grade. We met in daycare and most summers while growing up, we would spend pretty much every weekend and one or another's house.

We grew up being fascinated with heavy machinery (think construction equipment, semi trucks, etc.) and the summer before I entered 4th grade, I moved to a neighborhood that had a handful of empty fields in the process of being developed.

One summer, I want to say that we were in 5th or 6th grade, we were exploring a gated community that was being built (at the time it was mostly just empty lots and streets about to be paved) and we came across a small skid steer tractor that had been left with its keys in the cab. On a dare, I turned the tractor on and within seconds, a person who lived nearby started shouting at us. I turned off the tractor and we bolted into the woods next to the construction site.

We both turn 30 this year and to this day we sometimes joke about that event.

Thank you for letting me share that little tidbit. I'm very sorry about your friend and I'm glad you're still with us to celebrate his life.

We all lose that one important person in our lives. And I apologize you lost your friend. If I was able to turn back the clock, I'd stop his suicide in a heartbeat, because life is worth living. God bless your friend and I hope turn out alright

So sorry you had to go through they, may your friend Rest In Peace.

I am very sorry for your loss. It is good that you have such cherished memories of him. Keep them alive in your heart, always.

I’d like to say my favorite memory is running into someone on a wiki forum, who I eventually came to love, and have a serious relationship with.

He was running an RP, which I so happened to join, and then we started talking a lot. I’m very glad I ran into him.

we’re always gonna be here for holy. I’m so so sorry for your loss but just know we love you

I remember one time a few years ago, my friend group had recently come into shape, and it was sometime in summer. It was a normal day, and we decided to have a big hangout with all of us which doesn't happen often. We played Smash Bros for hours, talked, maybe watched a movie, and just had a lot of fun. It was nothing really too out of the ordinary, but I just remember it sticking out as one of the most fun hangouts with all of my friends at the time. It was just nice.

I have 2, no 3 actually 4 people I remember whose relationship with me was much like what you described. One is my cousin, he was the coolest most fun person I know outside of my best friend, who when we came to visit ALWAYS had something super fun to do with him. He was great at getting everyone together to do stuff that was beyond fun.
The second is my best friend, who I met around kindergarten and who I did everything with. All the good times we had are simply to many to list. And even after I moved away when I went to visit twice years later we picked up as if we never had been apart.
The third was also my new best friend when I moved, in second grade, who is responsible for opening my eyes to so many possibilities, expanding the scope and size of my imaginary world I had at the time by ten fold, and creating infinite opportunities for growth. We would play in our worlds every day, we’d make new “inventions” in our world and market them to our factions, we’d go on missions, we ruled and had grand armies(mines was bigger but his was more advanced) just to name a few basics, and so so much more. My imagination is one of the biggest parts of me, something i visits hours every day on average, so this gift he gave me is invaluable even to this day. I am still building and expanding and have come very very far, developed so much in my world, which is really a entire universe now with how much time I have spent developing it, everything involved in it and all the systems, governance, history, battles, power structures, technologies, characters, societies, civilizations, ect of it all I have made and developed in my head all which was made possible by him. (I’d write it down but a) the size would make that very daunting and b) I’m to perfectionist in regards to my own work to be ever be satisfied, and c) while I have adapted all of it to be unique to me there are still to many similarities to things I based many things off of for me to be satisfied, and for the most part just having it in my head is usually good enough. Would be a dream if I could translate it all from my head to print and be satisfied with it but alas i am certain it never shall never be. I just don’t have enough in me drive or patience required to overcome all the obstacles in translating it from my head. My mind speaks its own independent language, literally, not figuratively that is a combination of images, words, feelings, “scenes”, details, footnotes, and most of all, computer like file writing and retrieval(but like an organized chaos type of organization of said files) plus much more. The way I can understand it but struggle to speak it “right” is just like languages. You know the meaning of something but when you try to describe it, you are inadequate at doing so, and struggle to find the right words, in this case words to replace or bridge/translate the images or emotion or other aspects.
Anyway as you can see imagination is massive sort of me, but back on topic
The fourth person who I had such similar good memory(singular this time) is one I knew less well, apparently we were good friends for a time long long ago very earlier that I didn’t really remember much. But one day at least a decade later he visited and despite not really remembering much expect having been told I loved to hang out with him, we simply hit it off perfectly, as if we had been best friends all our lives. It was comparable to the others experiences I described so very unique.
And of course there are some other people who I had memories just as good but they are not the type related to the ones you are talking about/sharing, more good experience type memory as opposed to relationship with such a powerful feeling of friendship connection specifically imbued in the memory

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