Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lost friend

It's been a rough couple of days here. If you don't like mushy, personal stuff, keep on moving, this isn't your entry.

On Sunday, I lost a best friend to suicide. Probably not something I should talk about, but I want to. I won't mention his name, but he was very dear to me. And he was very unexpressive about how he felt in his last days.

I don't wish I had done anything differently, despite that being something that a lot of people say after someone they love does something like this. I loved him with everything I had, and he knew it. I wish it had been enough.

He lived in Las Vegas, which seems to be a very depressing place. I've been to the city and I didn't like it at all, but I can see how it would be alluring to others. He had plans of moving to the east coast to be closer to not just me, but a lot of friends we both shared in the New England area. He was politically active, smart, brutally honest, strong, handsome, and one of the most kind people I've ever met... in a very unconventional way.

He had dinners with my family and was the only one present at our wedding. He was perceived to be something other than what he was because of his hard exterior and rough edges. I wish more people had seen beyond that exterior... I think it's ultimately what did him in. Everyone thought he was fine, including me. I had an inkling he was depressed, but I thought he had the wear-with-all to pull through. Life was looking up for him, and on Saturday afternoon before the tragedy, he and I were joking over text about Massachusetts state troopers that we saw at the Big E. I was hopeful.

When I heard the news that he left a suicide note, I was in Portsmouth, NH with my in-laws. I had a very frantic, teary-eyed, panicked 2-hour trip home. The Las Vegas police were useless, but then I am not family and I couldn't give them a lot of information. I only had his PO box and personal information, and he had recently moved to an apartment near his campus. I was able to get in touch with family members and find out what was going on.

I wish he had said goodbye. His last words in his note was how he wanted to die surrounded by his friends with drinks and conversations, in celebration of his life. But how we'd never allow that, and we'd all try and stop him. So he had to die alone. And how he wished that a man (or woman) could choose the time of his or her death.

I respected that. I still do. I would always try to stop him, of course. I love him and I know that it must have been the depression doing the talking about death. But if he really, really wanted to go, and there was no convincing him, I would have wished to be there with him to make sure he wasn't alone when he left this world, and to let him know that he was loved.

I love you, Pie. I'll always love you. I don't know where to project my love, so I guess this will suffice. I've called a lot of people my "brother" and "sister" in this life, but you were always truest to the word. You never spared my feelings and I never spared yours. There's a hole in my life, and when I think of you every day, like I always do, I ache now for where you once were.

I don't know if there's a place we go when we die, and I know you weren't sure either. But if it's out there, I hope you found it, and that it's beautiful.

Nothing but unending love.


Nicole said...

Oh, Danielle. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I am sorry that another beautiful life was lost to depression's lies.

There are so many things I want to write. Just off the top of my head I can think of four people, two that succeeded, that have attempted suicide this year. One person has tried twice. I only share this because even though you were texting him the day before and even though he knew you love him, depression whispers such horrible little lies. It infiltrates your dreams and it skewers everything. Even when you 'know' there could be help, or another answer, or just another anything, it still justs sucks you in.
I hope I haven't offended you. I'm never sure if I should write what I'm thinking. I am truly sorry for you. I truly believe your friend loves you and knows you love him.

I am sendding you all the love, hugs and mojo. Take care, my friend.

Danielle McCauley said...

Thanks Nicole. Of course you didn't offend me! I love to hear what you have to say... you have more experience with this than I do, and anything you can say will help. :)

I'm going to be honest about this, and I think I may look like an asshole for saying this, but I never really "believed" in clinical depression. Especially when I was a teenager (when I was actually probably depressed myself!). I always thought people can pull out of things and who needs meds?

This whole tragic situation has taught me something important about depression, and it's exactly as you painted it. Whispers of horrible lies. You said it so well!

I think he taught me this lesson in a really indirect, awful way. I'll never look at people the same, and I will try and be more sensitive to things.

Thank you so much, it means the world.