I know most people are starting out the new year with blog posts about resolutions, plans for the next 12 months & happy reflections on the year prior.
This is not going to be that kind of post.
this post is going to be full of grief, realization, reflection & tribute.
No words can describe him thoroughly.
The best house parties. He had them.
The most infectious laugh. He had it.
The loudest voice. He had it.
The love, acceptance & patience of a saint. He had all of those.
Spontaneity so strong you could barely keep up. He had that too
My funniest, laughter filled, booze induced memories include him.
Brian also had a medical condition that ended his life very, very suddenly.
We weren’t the best of friends, but I knew I could always, always count on him. We would go days, weeks, even months without talking but I knew when he was in town going out for drinks was a requirement & we would pick up like we were never apart.
The last night we spent together was “The Big Gay Birthday Bash”. The joint party of him, myself & 3 other friends.
we drank too much, we smoked too much, we laughed until our cheeks hurt, we danced, we sang, we hugged, we mixed drinks so potent they caused the hang over from hell.
Less than 2 months later, my phone rings while i’m showering. I ignore it.
to be honest, i’m glad i did because I know know how i would have processed the information with a voice on the other end.
I read a BBM.
“Something terrible has happened.” quickly followed by “Emerson passed away.”
For a second, i swear my heart stopped, my throat got tight. i froze.
i re-read that message. over & over.
death in my life isn’t new. both my grandparents are dead. in fact my grand mother died at the very end of the year before.
but this was different. the death of a friend, in my adult life, that is completely unexpected was new. it was heart breaking, confusing. It was life altering. Even if i didn’t realize it at the time. I get it now.
How is someone you were just drinking, laughing & making memories with just gone, forever?
we found out on a Friday. within an hour we were all on a friend’s door step staring into the wooden slates of a deck while we talked, smoked & tried to process.
this was a part of adulthood i did not want to deal with.
friends don’t say goodbye to friends forever.
people say good bye to elderly relatives, to people with life threatening illnesses, to victims of tragedy.
other people talk about losing friends. other people have memorial cards from friend’s funerals. other people tell you how their friend’s death changed them
other people, other people. not us. not a group of us in our twenties. we don’t do this.
the next night we had plans to go out. & we did.
But it wasn’t like any other night at the bar.
His face was everywhere. I kept thinking i heard is laughter in the distance. i kept looking for him in the crowds.
Anyone who knew Brian knew his love of Britney Spears.
Hearing ‘Till the world ends, in the bar was my realization.
I cried hard. In the middle of a bar with a drink in my hand as I danced and sang along to that song the best I could. That is what he would have wanted.
Nearly two months later, it still doesn’t seem real sometimes.
some of our friend’s facebook profiles still have display pictures him in them.
i find myself looking for him in bars just in case he slipped into town & didn’t let anyone know.
i get hit with a wave of grief when i hear Britney.
i haven’t been able to get through the song played at his funeral without tearing up and forcing myself not to cry.
i haven’t yet deleted “him” from BBM
or twitter. . .
or deleted his contact card in my BlackBerry.
that just seems wrong. like it would be erasing him from my life.
i guess i’m just not ready yet.
i didn’t expect the death of a friend to impact me so greatly. i really didn’t.
especially a friend that wasn’t a part of my daily life.
but it has. & i’m not really sure i like it.
it is the events or during the times we would normally see him that it gets more real.
it started with new years. there were no discussion of whether or not he was coming home for the holidays.
we didn’t grumble together about how we had to “do the family thing” for Christmas & couldn’t wait for new years eve.
Next, will probably be pride. But our birthday will be the hardest.
but we will tell our stories, share our memories & make skittles vodka.
i just hope that whatever comes after death is a place where he can shine like the star he was.
If Brian’s death has taught me anything, it is that life is fragile. It can end fast.
It showed me that i cannot let get life get in the way of my friendships, my family & those i love.
It has taught me that no matter how close you were, the distance between you or the length of time you could go without speaking means nothing.
each and every person you befriend leaves an impact in your life.
some good, some bad.
but the little spot you have for them in your life is always there. Whether it be in memories, stories, pictures, text messages, tweets, or any other form.
& when they aren’t there any longer & it is forever. it will change you. maybe only a little, but the change will be there. You may not fall to your knees in grief, you may not feel the impact as badly as others. but it is still there.
text those friends you haven’t heard from in awhile. tweet them. call them.
just don’t let life get in the way. & remember, in one split second this could all be over for us so cherish it, achieve great things & grow with each new experience.
sleep peacefully my friend, every shot of skittles vodka is a tribute to you.❤