It's only in reflection, looking back, remembering. But I was in love with a man, once. In college, I had few friends but some very close ones. One, who I thought was close, betrayed me in betraying himself. Yes, he was trying to be a friend, I guess, but his demons got the best of him. And he seduced me. With all the struggles going on in my head and soul, this is NOT what I needed.
Then there was another friend. We lived across the hall from one another, with many of the same likes and dislikes. We shared a lot of things. But how was he different as a friend? How did I know he was a true friend? He could get mad at me and tell me what he thought and still be my friend. I knew there was something very real there.
After college, I worked a couple of years before returning to grad school. We kept in touch. He was already in grad school, and we both had time off after Christmas which we spent together. His household was crazy as mine, so we'd get together and travel a bit.
Then, when I entered grad school, we were in the same metro area, so we could get together. Then, he did an internship (as part of school) that called him to live out of town, some. We would get together on the weekends in the little town where he was living. We camped, we cooked, we played. But never like that.
I think I had shared with him some of my struggles, but he did not share his. I only found out a little bit later. After it was too late.
He left some hints, here and there. But I never followed through. If he had uttered one little word, one slight inkling, I would have been in his arms, in his bed, and in his life. Perhaps to this day.
If only I had just grabbed him and ravaged him. If only. But I didn't, and it's too late.
I had no context. I didn't know how to be in love with someone, not like that. I knew I loved him, but like a brother, right? That's what it was about right? Now I see it was more.
One way I see it was more is that I still miss him. Deeply
But I was trying to "straighten out" my life. If we ever talked about "it", it wasn't much. I'm sure I tried to bury my struggles or gloss over them. I was going to be all right.
It has been over twenty years ago that he shot himself. And I still miss him, deeply. I can see his face, hear his voice, feel his chaste hugs.
He shot himself because he was so locked in so many closets he could see no way out. No friend who would understand (he thought). I was going off to get married. I thought I had it all worked out. Maybe he felt that was the last straw. I was going off to get married.
I do not take any responsibility for his suicide. He made his decision. I was and am still angry at him about that. How could he take himself away from me and our other friends like that. So permanently?
I miss him, and I pray for him every Sunday, still.
I have felt close to suicide a few times. But I think my memory of his suicide is what keeps me from it. I was (and am) so hurt. I don't ever want to do that to anyone. Now, I have children. I could never do that to them. I may go stark raving mad and have to be hauled off and institutionalized, but that would be more forgivable, more easily worked through.
At least then, there are possibilities. But not with suicide. No matter how low, how deep, how dark, how depressing it can get (and don't try to convince me yours is any darker than mine -- dark is dark) there is NO option worse than suicide. Nothing is more selfish.
I do not believe G-d condemns those lost in that darkness. That's never even been a question for me. And I know that I can somehow forgive him for what he did. But, oh G-d, I miss him. Deeply.
This is a sad post. In the midst of it though, I have hope for the future. The one thing I want to do now is LIVE. Live for me, for him, for the truth. Come what may.
I only wish we could have told each other the truth, he and I. I wish we could have seen it. Maybe, one day.
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona eis requiem.