I found out yesterday that a friend of mine from college died. Then I feel like a fraud for saying he’s my friend. I haven’t seen or talked to him in over 6 years.
I went straight to my photo album from college to find pictures of us together. I had more than a couple to choose from. That was when I realized, he was my friend. I mean, I had the proof.
A friend of mine on Facebook wrote a quote the other day about growing up and losing friends. It referred to old friends as “strangers who share memories”. Last night upon hearing the news, that was exactly what I thought.
We hadn’t had a falling out, go into a fight that resulted in being “unfriended”, we simply grew up and moved on after college. My last 3 years of college are filled with memories of him. Of his smile, his goofy antics, his mispronunciation of common words and mostly his ability to make everyone around him happy. Now though, now we were strangers who shared memories.
I learned that he took his own life. Friends and family are pretty certain it is the aftermath of the war, PTSD. Last night after finding out, I cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. What an amazing spirit to be haunted in such a way that he couldn’t be happy here anymore.
What makes one person be able to survive the demons and another person not? This is a question I ask myself all the time.
The first time that I went to a therapist she told me that I had PTSD from my divorce. There were triggers that could send me right back to that bad place from 7 years ago. A place where I could no longer differentiate between the past and the present. When you get spooked by all the what ifs and the memories of what happened.
There isn’t a way to explain it to people without sounding crazy. There isn’t a way to explain it to people without them getting super worried or concerned about your state of mind. You just learn how to cope with it better, hopefully, if you are lucky.
I already was planning on staying at home and relaxing this weekend. Surrounding myself with my kids and my husband. As this is the time of year when the demons haunt the most, when everything spooks me and the triggers are all around because I am looking for them. I don’t know if that will ever go away. But, after 7 years, I am able to cope with it better.
To my dear friend from college, you have always been in my heart. I don’t have many memories at Central that you weren’t a part of. You were the first boy that I lived with! You were sunshine on a cloudy day and I know that this world is a little less bright because you left it. Prayers and Love to your family and those sweet children and grand-children you left behind. RIP