Lord knows this life is precious. We are simply given just one to mold into our own. Along the way, we will meet humans who will bring out the best in us, encounter experiences that mold our character, and dive head first into moments and instances that become our most cherished memories. When one decides that it's time to earn their wings, taking measures to end this precious gift he or she is granted, our minds and hearts are flooded with grief and ambiguity. When that human being is someone you know, a friend, a human being that filled your life so much joy, there is simply a whole new level of heartbreak achieved. More importantly, you wish they knew that they were heard, that life in the clouds did not have to come so soon.
I could sit here and try and explain the emotion that comes with a loss as severe as losing a friend to suicide, but I do not think words can encompass how individual grief can be for those who are affected by the experience. There is truly no way for me to accurately express how much life was sucked out of me when I received the FaceTime call that a friend of mine had taken his own. For me, tears did not come right away, but when they did, they were as strong as a hurricane. They came in absolute waves. For others, maybe those tears weren't ready to surface. Perhaps they never would. Regardless of the physical, outward display of sadness, we were all feeling it. We all wished we knew how to dive deeper into this ambiguity, wishing with all of our might that we saw a sign or could have been there to help.
You see, that's the tricky thing about mental health. The signs are not always apparent. That is why it should never be a topic of conversation we shy away from. No human being should ever feel like they cannot be heard because there is always someone willing to listen. No emotion should ever feel invalidated because we are each entitled to feel how we feel when we feel it. No other human being can tell you that you do not feel that emotion that is trickling through your veins, pumping through your heart, or churning in your stomach. No human being should feel like their concerns are small, that their worries are minuscule, or that they are not worthy of listening ears. In these moments, seek guidance, find comfort in a warm embrace, and know there is always someone who will set aside time and hear you out.
Life is a journey, and the road we travel down will not always deal us the friendliest cards. When our roads get bumpy, when fog clouds our minds, when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, please trust me when I say that it will come. Please understand that you do not have to face adversity by yourself. Please know that love and support can always surround you. And while there are always listening ears to empathize with one's struggle, there is always a voice inside of you with the power to speak out about the difficulties you face. That voice has the ability to scream from the rooftops; do not let outside factors silence it. That voice is adorned with strength and love, bravery and courage, a voice that will take one big step towards self-care. It is a voice that I will always listen to with an open heart and open mind to ensure you are safe, loved, and appreciated.
My heart feels deeply and empathy runs strong through me. While I have felt my own heartache these past weeks, I feel for of all who knew our newest guardian angel - his family, his friends, absolutely anybody. As we sift through the amalgamation of thoughts that ping-pong around in our minds, here is a reminder that we are coping, we are grieving, and that process cannot be taken away from you. But there is this overarching family, one beyond blood, that has been present with hugs, reassuring words, and phone calls to guide in the ultimate processing of a situation as heavy as this one.
So to our new guardian angel, we wish you would not have left so soon. But in the meantime, we are blessed to have you by our sides always. There will always be tough days. There will always be days that I feel you should have been a part of. There will be days of disbelief and anger, sadness and frustration. There will be days of laughter and jokes and retelling of old stories, seemingly because that's what you always seemed to be a part of. There will be many beers toasted up to the sky in your honor, perhaps even a few more shotgunned because you would have made us anyways. There will be days where I wish I could have given you that hug you were waiting for. Days that I will fight tooth and nail to understand the root of all of this.
Maybe I'll never fully understand why lives have to be lost so soon, but here I am relaying the message to anyone who reaches the end of this page: you are loved, you are supported, and you are validated. You are never alone. Find the good in every situation. Seek help when needed. Find that light at the end of the tunnel. Someone, I promise you, is always willing to listen. I will always be listening.
Rest in peace, Bres. We love ya.