I remember when I found out.
I was lying in bed, mindlessly scrolling through social media like I do every day.
I sat straight up when I saw it. I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. My friend had taken his own life.
It’s been three years since that day. It still doesn’t seem real. We hadn’t talked in ages, probably since I’d moved away, but it still hit me when I found out he wasn’t around anymore.
I think it’s because of the way he went.
I knew Eric during a particularly dark time of my life. He knew the me who was trying to navigate the dark tunnels of depression for the first time. He knew the me who regularly contemplated suicide. He knew the me that had cuts on her arms and legs and a razor blade in her pencil case.
There were days when he would tell my angsty, depressed, twelve-year-old self that it would be okay. That this wasn’t forever. To smile. Then he’d give me a hug and be on his way. He was a light on some dark, dark days.
The small things made a difference to me. Small acts from a lot of people helped me dig my self out of that dark place. I may have visited a time or two since then, but overall, I reign champion over my inner demons.
I attempted, contemplated often and am here now writing this. In a cemetery of all places. How ironic that I would be at a funeral on this anniversary. We buried my beautiful great grandmother today. She lived a long and happy life. She met her soul mate, had a beautiful family and lived a fulfilling life.
I often wonder why some people live forever and others are ripped away cruelly far too soon.
Sometimes I forget and think he is still out there making kick ass art and putting smiles on people’s faces.
Then it hurts all over again.
From my own struggles, I know how he must have felt when he died. I know what it’s like to feel like the world is just too much and the pain is just too much and there is no way out. I know what it is like to feel hopeless and helpless. No one deserves to feel that way.
Depression is very real. Anxiety is very real. Pain like that is real and dangerous. As much as I know that when it gets to that point, very little makes a difference, I still wish there was something someone could have done.
I’m sure the people that loved him, that were a part of his daily life, feel the same. I cannot even fathom how that must feel.
I watched them grieve from afar and just wanted to wrap them in a giant hug and make the hurt go away.
The shitty thing about something like this is that you can’t make the hurt go away, you can only learn to live with it and hopefully turn it into something good.
The strength I have seen, especially from his sister, as time goes on is incredible. She knows it, I’ve told her. I hate that I never got to tell Eric how much those little things he did for me meant to me so I make a point to let people know how much I love/admire/appreciate them while I do have the chance.
You really never know when it will be gone.
Something Danielle said about him has stuck with me: he was too beautiful for this world.
Some people just are.
I hope that he is out there in the universe somewhere watching down on us knowing how much we all loved him.
It’s unfathomable. I’ve written about it over and over and over again, and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that something like this is possible.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand.
I think I’ll always question why we struggled with some of the same things, but I get to be okay and he doesn’t.
I’ll just take the hurt and keep writing until my hand cramps. I’ll keep remind the people I love that I love them and that they matter.
Love is the only thing that cures us anyways.
If you’re hurting, struggling, contemplating, or whatever, please get help. Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255. If talking on the phone gives you anxiety, google it and they have an online chat. Reach out if you need a friend. Sometimes people really just have no idea what someone is going through even if you think they should.
Take it from me, things really can get better if you work to build your better. I promise.