Looking back, I realized he sent me a Snapchat Friday, just one day before he died. I don’t know what time, or even what it was of, but he doesn’t Snapchat. Life just moves to fast to stay on top of it all. So much can happen in a week – from a snapchat Friday, to going missing, to being found dead outside his home, to Friday, one week later, being buried outside of his childhood church.
Life just moves so fast.
I think the strangest part of it all, is that no one he’s close to knows who I am. We shared a strong friendship for a couple years, but not one that ever allowed us into each other’s circles. My roommate met him once, but other than that, should the tables be turned, I don’t know that anyone in my life would know who he was either.
I showed up a little before the ceremony, ushers were frantically pulling out chairs in the back entrance for all the people crowding in. I quickly claimed a seat in the very back row, behind the entering groups of his coworkers and fraternity brothers. One usher looked at me and asked, “Just one?” I nodded yes, and he replied, “I have one seat inside, it’s right at the front.” With a breaking face and cracking voice responded, “No, I’d rather sit in the back.” I could barely control myself, I couldn’t imagine being in the center of all the emotions with his family, with an upfront view of him the entire time.
Maybe it was a sign, that through the years I was still important to him and he wanted me up there. That I did fit in amongst the people I’d never gotten a chance to meet.
I just wanted to hide.
I have to question if this is normal, a part of growing old, that people around you die, all the time. In the last two and a half years, I’ve lost 4 friends near or younger than 40: a murder, two cancers, and now a suicide. A coworker announced this same week that he has early stages of Multiple Sclerosis. Is this what’s a head for the ‘lucky’ ones who get old?
The church was full, with cars lining the gravel road up the hill to the church. I thought to myself as my heels dug into the muddy gravel on the chilly walk, “The only time all your family and friends are ever really together is a funerals and weddings.” It’s a tragedy that all these people, all the love and fun stories, are only brought together in these two scenarios. One of which you don’t even get to experience.
I’m angry, as I am when I’m robbed of people I care about too soon. However, I’m driven now, more than ever, to have my party. I don’t like to call attention to myself, but it’s important to gather the people you love. I want to see my people I love while I’m still here.
Please join me on November 20, from 2-4 in Lincoln for my 30th birthday party.
I love you all, let’s celebrate for the sake of life. To force love and happiness into this place where sorrow is constantly at your heels.