***Disclaimer: This is not a post for those who are faint of heart, or have a problem with foul language***
I wrote this post about two and half years ago, near the anniversary of the death of my life-long best friend. I’m feeling the need to repost it, get it out there into the big unknown, in the hopes that maybe it will make it into the arms of someone who needs to see it. I feel myself lately slipping into parts of my former self, a place that Ben was such a part of, and I can only wonder if I will ever heal. I’ve been reconnecting recently with old friends on facebook that also knew Ben (most of my current friends never had the chance to meet him), and although it’s nice getting to talk to those who did know him, it’s also very painful. A friend posted a video of him and the jolt I got upon hearing his voice shocked the hell out of me. His voice will never change. Ever. And that still trips me out. The ten year anniversary is in a few months, and it amazes me that although I thought life would never go on… it has.
lachrymal. a small, narrow-necked vase found in ancient Roman tombs, formerly thought to have been used to catch and keep the tears of bereaved friends.
Yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of my best friend Ben’s death. I find it so odd that when a tragedy occurs that totally shakes your world, you feel as if life will never continue…that you will never be able to lift your head again.. and then suddenly, you realize that it has. While you weren’t even paying attention, your life has gmoved forward. And then it hit me, almost as if I had never even thought of it before…Ben’s life will never go on. He will never head bang to Evanescence with me, he will never prance around the living room singing songs from RENT, he will never talk in a British accent for days after watching Coupling. All things that I know would occur if he was still here. If he hadn’t taken a fucking shotgun to his temple.
As you can tell, the anger is still seriously there. The selfishness of suicide continues to amaze me.. the repercussions live on forever . Although Ben got to end his misery, every one who loved him will feel it for the rest of their lives. As Junior so succinctly puts it, Ben’s death fucked me up.
I must admit, I’ve been doing really well lately. I try to remind myself that he is at peace and muck happier now. I try to remind myself that the medications he was on helped push him to his breaking point–that he NEVER would have done this in a normal state of mind. I try to remind myself that his grief over his mother’s death was something he would have never fully recovered from. I try to remind myself that it doesn’t matter that someone nearby saw him laying on his mother’s grave, sobbing his heart out, desperately digging at the earth..trying to get to her, trying to bring her back. I try to tell myself that even if someone had gotten there in time, they couldn’t have saved him. Many months of therapy finally taught me that we could have saved him this time, maybe the next time, and maybe another after that… but Ben wanted to kill himself. He was going to eventually succeed no matter what those who loved him did.
But what always breaks me down and swamps me with grief is this— the last time he called me, I didn’t answer the phone.
There, I’ve said it outloud.. and gotten it out of me. He called on a Wednesday night, the night we always went out to Angles to the drag show. I knew what he wanted, and I had a huge school project I was working on. I knew that if I answered the phone, he would talk me into going (hey–that’s just how Ben was- he could talk you into ANYTHING!) . So I didn’t answer. Little did I know that would be the last chance I would ever get. I never had my chance to say goodbye—that is what breaks my heart. The unfinished business – the hugs I didn’t get to give. The I love you’s I didn’t get to say. 13 years of friendship.. and nothing. You know what I call that??? Bullshit. And if you wanted me to sing for you, you certainly didn’t have to leave that request in a suicide note. I would have sang with you, for you, to you, anytime, anywhere, for as long as you would let me. I would hold your hand and do everything I could to take away even just an ounce of your pain…if only you had let me. How did the song go? “If I had only known, it was our last walk in the rain, I’d keep you out for hours in the storm”. Next time I see you— we’re going to go for a dance in the rain, I promise.
I love you, Ben, and I will never forget the wonderful times we had. And maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll reach a point where I don’t still feel so much anger. I bet you and your mom are chillin’ on the clouds, kickin’ back to Aerosmith and Seinfeld. Smoke one for me, baby.
**This photo was taken about six weeks before Ben died. We were out celebrating his 22nd birthday.***