Today marks an anniversary – one that is not celebratory, but significant nonetheless. One year ago today a friend left his home here on earth and made his way to heaven. He had a long struggle with brain cancer, and could no longer withstand the surgeries and treatments. He chose to stop fighting, and because of his strong faith, knew that he was going to a better place.
When he passed away, I struggled with how I should feel. You see, though I call him a friend, we really had not been in contact for many years. He was a huge part of my life during my high school and college years. He was the best friend of my high school boyfriend/husband. The two were pretty much inseparable during those high school and college years, so we all spent a lot of time together. When my ex and I separated and later divorced, I also lost many friendships. One of those was Mike. We never really talked again after that time, but I would get an occasional update from mutual friends.
It is an odd thing to mourn someone who you really haven’t known in nearly twenty years. I am sad for the loss his family and friends feel. I am sad for his wife and his boys. I am definitely sad for my ex. I honestly can’t even imagine the incredible loss that losing your life-long best friend would be. For me, I suppose I am mourning the memories. There are so many memories – concerts, road trips, proms, and just hanging out. So many of my high school and college memories include him. I am sad that those memories ended when my marriage did. I wish I could have known him and the man he became after that time. From what I hear, he was pretty incredible – an amazing husband, father, and man of God.
It has taken me some time to process his death. It hit me a lot harder than I expected. I think it was even more difficult because I really didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. Other than my parents, no one in my current life really knows a lot about my past. Plus, the fact that we are about the same age made it all the more strange. I have been fortunate that I have not had to deal with the loss of many friends my age, and certainly not close friends. It tends to make you think about your own mortality and just how precious this life is.
Today I remember him – the big, goofy, floppy-haired, lovable teddy bear of a guy that always made me laugh when I was around him. Regardless of the reasons why we parted ways, I will always love him and celebrate the memories we had together.