That Was Then, This Is Now
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That Was Then, This Is Now

How my cousin changed me.

That Was Then, This Is Now

When I was in high school, I never really thought much of suicide.

In fact, I was so ignorant about it that I believed that anybody who committed suicide is a coward and I didn't have sympathy for them. I thought that they gave into their insecurities in life and ultimately gave themselves a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Sounds harsh right?

It wasn't until I lost someone that I knew and cared for, I didn't even know how much I cared for them until I heard the news...

Last summer, my cousins flew me out to Kansas City, Missouri to spend a week with them since they were unable to attend my high school graduation. While I was out there I mostly chilled and just relaxed. A few times, I would talk to my cousin Nathan, everybody else called him Lil Nathan, I think because he was a junior. I always thought that Nathan was cool, the rest of my family thought he was weird, and quiet, and odd. I just figured he was introverted and was more social around his friends than his family just like I was. So while I was there, and whenever he was home, we would talk and chill together.

But I remember when he wasn't home, my cousins were telling me that he didn't do so well in his first year of college. While being home, he kept getting into trouble. He lied about having a job for weeks and at some point before I came he had gotten arrested for marijuana possession in his car. But honestly all of that hadn't mattered to me. I figured, "yea it must suck not to do well in your first year and yea it probably sucks to get busted by the police."

I think I was hurt so much by his passing because I had just spent so much time with him while I was there. I hadn't seen him in about 5 years so we spent that time catching up and watching movies. We always watch weird things. Like the last movie we watched was the movie Bronson starring Tom Hardy, and that is a weird movie...I found it in my school's DVD library and I'm unsure if I can get myself to watch it now.

But the way that I found out broke my heart the most. I was in a group meeting and the whole time I was on my phone. I was bored and the information being said didn't apply to me. About half way through I realized that I should get off my phone. When the meeting was over I checked my phone again and saw that I got a text message.

And when I read it, I felt like the phone was going to burn through my fingers and through the table. And everything had just...stopped...One of my cousins sent me a text message saying that Nathan had ended his life. She included details that I'm not going to mention here but broke my heart. I tried so hard to keep myself together. But I couldn't. I ended up falling into pieces in my friend's arms. I was so hurt. I was hurt for several reasons. I was hurt that he was gone, I was hurt that I didn't get to know him more, and I'm hurt that I didn't say good-bye. When I was leaving Kansas City to go back to NYC, I stared at his bedroom door before I left wanting to say bye, but we were in a rush to get to the airport. I just figured that I would see him the next time I came...

But you know what? It's okay. I feel sad whenever I think about Nathan sometimes, but when I remember that he's at peace and that's all that he wanted, I feel better. Interestingly enough, I was having a conversation with my cousin, who was his step mom, and I was telling her about how hard my first semester of college was. And she told me that she understood where I was coming from and told me to do it for Nathan. I found it a little funny because in my head, I had already determined that everything I will ever create will be for him.

Suicide is something that should be very much prevented. There should be more awareness and support for people dealing with Depression so people won't feel like they have to end their lives in order to feel at peace. I understand and respect Nathan's decision. In a way I understand why he did it. My first year of college was really stressful. It took a huge emotional and psychological effect on me. And there are many things from my past that still haunt me today. Sometimes there are days when I have to tell myself to not think of suicide as an option. And I'm sure the same was for him. I used to think that suicide was a coward's decision, but that was then, and this is now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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