It's been a year.
A year since the accident. A year since he died.
I can't say I haven't changed. Or I haven't grieved. Or I haven't sort-of moved on.
Because I have. On so many levels.
But suddenly, that's the part that's scaring me the most.
The fact that I woke up this morning to the alarm clock, at 8, and I had to get up, get changed, and prepare myself to relive the "old me".
The "me" that was during my best friend's funeral one year ago.
Today marks that event's one year anniversary.
And it's all happening again, it's all coming back again… everything I felt, everything I went through, every milestone I accomplished… today is the day I feel like I haven't done anything at all.
My friend died in a car accident last year. He was on his way to the airport to pick up his uncle when a drunken truck driver skipped a red light and killed him. Just like that.
I love that I am able to say that paragraph without cringing now. To me, when I say what happened to him, I am not feeling the words that I am saying. They're just words. They're abstract. Only made to make sense, not to make emotions stir.
Or perhaps the reason I don't feel anything when I talk about the accident now is because I felt everything back when it happened. (Read "It's Getting Harder to Breathe" to know it all.)
Here's the thing.
If you have NOT lost a person (and by lost, I mean the person died…not the kind of 'lost' that could mean some stupid little juvenile fight you have with your friend because he's in love with your girl/boyfriend)…
Again, back to my point… Sorry, I tend to get distracted easily sometimes.
If you haven't lost someone yet, you do not know what it is like to "lose someone"
It's not something you go through every day. I moved on. I have this whole other life now, a life that I've built on my own, without my best friend…or my dad…or anyone. And days go by. Days and weeks and months where you really, honestly simply DO NOT think about them.
I went through an entire summer of rarely even thinking of my dead best friend.
And then the tiniest little thing happens.
It's in these tiny little events, the ones you least expect.
You're sitting at a dinner table with a group of friends you are in love with, and you're chilling and drinking and having the bestest of times… and then someone says something like "I remember when I was 16, I snuck out of the house the middle of the night to go shack up with Elsa"…
And you immediately turn around, smiling like an idiot, to jump into that conversation and relate the time you snuck out, with your best friend, and then you accidentally beeped and the whole house almost woke up…
For that split second, you almost feel like they're still alive, like they're sitting with you, in that group of friends. And then less than a second later, when you shut yourself up before you even start to talk, when you realize that you're smiling like an idiot, you stop smiling and you stop talking.
And, just for a second, you stop breathing.
Because that's when you realized they're not here with you at this dinner table, chilling and drinking and having a good time.
You don't want to think where they are, or what they're doing.
And then suddenly, everything hurts again.
You're still sitting at that dinner table, still hanging out with all these amazing people who really love you for who you really are. But suddenly, you realize you want more. You deserve more. Because, as great as these people are, they're not the ones you would rather be chillin' with. Fact.
Or what about the time you're just sitting in your bed, late at night, unable to sleep for the randomest of reasons…and you pick up your phone, and you go through your contacts just for the heck of it…
And there's their name. Still on your phone. Still after all this time.
And you know they're not there anymore. You know no-one's at the other end of that phone.
But they are looking at you too. Just from a different place.
The more I think of these events, the more I realize that the fact that it's been a year since he died only means that I'm a year close to meeting up with him again.
Yes, very morbid. Sorry about that.
Perhaps a little lame too? Ah well. I don't care.
… I'm writing this 2 and a half hours after I wrote all the above.
I miss the way I used to feel when I was around my best friend. Like nothing in the world matters. I don't care if John doesn't like me; I have you. I don't care if my dad is disappointed in me; I have you. I don't care if I have financial problems reaching up to my forehead; I have you. I don't care if the world does not understand me.
I don't have you.
But that's okay. Because I know that I will be okay. And I realized that it's okay to be sad when you're sad. And it's okay to be happy when you're happy.
Never feel guilty for being happy. You never know how long it might last.
And that's something you taught me. To be happy.
To live. To love. To accept. To forgive.
Some people say, "The only way not to be disappointed is not to expect anything."
I think that is a load of crap.
Expect more. If it works out the way you wanted it to be, then be happy. If you end up disappointed, then be disappointed. Because, chances are, you will get up again. You will find a way. It will happen.
I learned that the hard way.
When I was deep down in depression and sorrow, I thought I was done. There were many times where I was so ready to give it all up.
And that's why I got up on my feet again.
You have to reach the lowest point to know how to appreciate the highest once you're up there again. Fact.
So when I got up this morning, to go to church, I wasn't going to mourn over your death again. I did all that. I cried, I screamed, I picked up fights. I. Did. All. That.
Instead, I got up to celebrate the life that you'd had.
It was a good one. Granted, it was short. But nevertheless, it was historical.
And that's how I want mine to be now. Historical.
I will always love you. And no one will ever take your place in my heart. No one will ever mean to me half as much as you do.
But that's okay.
And just in case you are up there, looking after me, and wondering…
I'm doing okay, brother.