Friday, March 7, 2014

An Anniversary

I didn't actually realize until my sister mentioned visiting the grave, but today is the one-year anniversary of my friend Tyler's suicide.  I still remember the shock it was getting that text, the hollow feeling, the disbelief and the unbelievable grief.  I remember Mia begging me not to drive home from campus, having Kay pick me up.  I remember putting my sunglasses on even though it was cloudy so no one would ask me why I was crying.  I remember watching the way my brother's face changed when he found out what had happened, that one of his best friends was gone.
I remember the funeral, everyone there who had come to remember him.  I remember his mother wailing at the graveside.  I remember not letting myself cry then, because I was the driver and I had to keep my eyes clear for the road.  I remember months afterward of it constantly waiting in the back of my mind, the hurt and the loss and the fear that somehow I was responsible.  I remember just briefly catching the detail that he'd died wearing his fencing shirt, and the overwhelming sense of relief when I realized that he died in his fencing shirt.  That no matter what had happened in his life to lead him to such a choice, at least those of us at the fencing center were a bright spot. 
I remember the first time I went to his grave alone, when my world was crumbling around me and I had nowhere else to turn.  And I remember keeping him in the back of my mind when I finally decided to see a therapist about my depression.
Suicide affects everyone.  Remember not to judge.

Fare thee well, my dear, dear friend.

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