What's up? How're you? How's the weather there? Sunny and hot or snowy and cold? I've been meaning to write to you all month, but you know how it goes. Time just keeps moving. Especially when you’re busy. And happy. I do think of you often, though. Especially this time of year. And this year particularly I've been wondering how you are. How you're doing now that a few years have gone by and your family and friends have slowly started to pick their lives back up and maybe even feel happiness again. Just every now and then, when they allow themselves to forget.
I guess the main thing I wonder, and I've wondered often this rainy February, is if for some reason you couldn't have carried out your plan, if something or someone somehow reached you just the day before, would you choose to be alive today? Or was it just a matter of time, even if someone stopped you that one day, until you succeeded? If you were alive right now, would you be happy to be alive? Would you look back on that day that you thought was your last and breathe a huge sigh of relief that it didn't work and chuckle to yourself and Kat, "My, my, wasn't I silly back then? Thinking I couldn't go on...thinking no one in the world cared for me...thinking all those dark thoughts...feeling buried so far underneath the dark, black, cold sea. Wasn't I silly?" And later, separately, you'd both wipe away a tear from the thought.
Is that what it felt like? Because that's kind of what I imagine it feels like. Sinking beneath dark seawater. Lying alone on the sea floor and looking up through the murky water at the hints of stars and clouds and life pulsing through the world and not being able to understand or touch any of it. I feel like maybe I've been there once or twice before. Or near there. But not all the way there. Whenever I walk to the sea at night here, I approach it straight on so that it feels like I'm leaving all light and humanity behind me and walking slowly into dark nothingness. Some nights it's so dark that I can't see anything out there, not even the water, but I can hear it. And it often does sound so soothing, spilling onto the rocky shore and tugging at the smooth little stones, encouraging them to follow. I've always been able to turn back around, though.
The thing is, you seemed so happy in high school. You were happy. Weren't you? Standing on stage, big round cheeks ablaze, singing Burning Ring of Fire. There was joy surrounding you, there had to of been at least a bit of it in your heart, at your core. It's painful to think about all the high school and college memories I have that involve you. The more of your smile and jokes and joy I recall, the sadder I feel that something very different was brewing underneath. And none of us really knew. None of us understood that all of a good friend's being could somehow just go away. Evaporate into nothing. And would never have the chance to return. So many people in this world are dying to stay alive, and you just let all of your health, all of your joy, all of your talent, all of your dreams, even all of your pain and sorrow, go. You let them all die along with your heart. And you thought no one would notice that you were gone. It's hard not to feel just a little bit angry at you for that.
But mostly I just feel sad when I think about you. You were so loved, my friend. You still are. You still are, but it's not the same.