Tomorrow... is not a day I want to face. It will mark one year since my friend went out for coffee, came home, loaded a gun, went to the garage... and shot himself. His wife and kids came home from school and found him. I hurt. My stomach is literally in knots. I cannot believe it's already been a year. The pain and shock is as fresh now as it was when I first heard. I was at school, and a mutual friend called and told me. Like a zombie, I walked back into the classroom, packed my stuff and walked out to my car. I just sat there for a minute before I started screaming. Then somehow I managed to drive an hour and a half home. I don't remember the drive, but I do remember pulling into my driveway and just sitting there. It had to be 45 minutes of me just sitting there with the engine off and the door open. As if by not going into the house, I could somehow avoid the reality of it.
I knew he was depressed. He had lost his half of a business he owned. The majority of his social life was tied up in it too. It was ugly. He went to court against his best friend to fight for the business. The night before the court date, he blew up my phone at 2:15 am. I knew he was panicking, and I was honestly afraid to answer the phone. I just cried. I didn't know what else to do. The following morning, I found a half drank beer (his type) sitting in front of my house. He had made those calls from the front of my house. I felt sick, and guilty... those feelings were amplified after he died. What if I had just answered the phone? I don't think I will ever stop asking myself that question.
We had a lot in common. Both married since barely out of our teens. Both have 2 gorgeous, adoring kids. How could he do this to them? I know he loved them... how could he ever think they'd be better off without him here? I'm so angry at him, but I miss him too. I miss our crazy, late talks. I miss those times that what he was saying was so far out there, all I could muster for a response was a shake of my head, and an "Oh, Dave..." Once he got so drunk at my house that he fell into the mantle and found a porcelain angel broken beneath. I told him not to worry about it, but he picked up every piece. A few days later, he called me into his office and handed it to me. It was all glued together, all but one tiny piece. He told me he couldn't sleep one night, so he sat there and fixed it. I still choke up at the thought of this big guy sitting at his table late into the night gluing a delicate little angel together. I cherish that angel, and I cherished his friendship. I hope he knew that.
I haven't visited his grave. I don't know what I am afraid of. I went to the funeral, but the burial was private. I think I need to go.