Grief & Loss

I Still Miss You, My Friend

I Still Miss You, My Friend

I still miss you, my friend. Death is an evil thing, especially when it comes to suicide and having no explanation for it. Three years later, and there are still no answers as to why you are gone. It is hard to believe it has been three years now. 

So much has changed since I wrote this last year. When you died, it was a life-changing experience. There was absolutely no going back to anything close to what I considered normal after that. Sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow, but I was forced to move forward. 

That forward momentum has become my new normal. I am always moving forward now, even when it terrifies me or I’m not sure what forward is supposed to look like. I have to keep going and step outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes I’m not even sure I have a comfort zone anymore. 

Time Hasn’t Healed Me Yet

As I watch the date on my arm inch closer and closer, I find it difficult to want to participate in life. It’s much easier to bury myself in work and writing. Separating myself from everyone is something I do for a couple of weeks surrounding your death, and I have become more comfortable with it because it is what I need for myself. 

Speaking of my writing, I should note that my blog is officially a profitable one! If someone had told me that this would become my dream or even the path that would lead me here, I would have laughed or had them committed. This was definitely not where I thought I would be, but I absolutely love it. 

Sharing is Caring

I made myself a new paracord bracelet yesterday since the other one is now three years old and super faded. It isn’t bright pink anymore. Paracord has become a really fun medium to make things with, which wouldn’t have happened without you. I made and wore mine because it reminded me of you. Even now, I find myself unconsciously fidgeting with my bracelet, something I remember you doing as well. This is especially true when I’m thinking about you or working. 

Originally it was so personal that I didn’t want to share it with anyone else, no matter how much I enjoyed making it. Now I make and sell them and I am working on several other projects. The best part is that I’ve already sold two of the other projects before I’ve even made them! How cool is that?! Now I look at what I’ve made and I am so proud that you inspired it and other people are wearing and using these things. 

I’ll Always Miss You

I still miss you, my friend. There are many times I wish you were still here because I find myself with a thousand questions about life and my blog, that I know you could help me with and be an amazing resource. Instead I am left to navigate those things on my own. But I also realize that I wouldn’t have gone in either direction, writing or prepping, if you were still alive. It is something I wish I had an interest in then, but it simply wasn’t. 

I remember once you asked me where my voice was, citing that I had lost it. You were certainly correct when you said that, and I’ve talked about it several times before. I’ve talked about it because I could see just how right you were and it made me sad. Now I find it amusing that I found my voice in my writing. I guess it was always there, but was too often silenced by others around me. 

Following My Dreams

One of my favorite things that I’ve become comfortable with since I last wrote to you is dreaming. There are so many dreams attached to my blog and what I want it to become. Some of them seem absolutely crazy, in the sense they are big dreams. Like ridiculously big dreams. Yet I know that I can certainly make them come true. 

Nathan tells me often that one thing I certainly do not lack is ambition, and he is correct about that. Everytime I look at the tattoo on my arm or the picture of us on Facebook, I am reminded why I strive so hard to be the best at something I love. You. You are the reason I am on the path I am, and it is perfect for me. That single reason alone is why I refuse to fail. I’ve always thought that if I failed, your death would be in vain and I would have wasted the precious gift you gave me through that experience. 

Not The Same Person

As I look back on the last three years, I can easily see that I am not the same person. I know who I was at each yearly interval, and it is crazy to note just how much a year can change me. Just three hundred and sixty five days to a completely new person than what I once was. But that isn’t a bad thing because I am so happy. I still cry, especially right now as the anniversary of your death approaches. But there is so much appreciation for both the impact you had on my life and the journey it has taken me on since your death. 

I still want to say thank you, as always. Thank you for the amazing friendship we shared when you were alive. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am. Your impact on my life is and will always be something I will carry with me forever. It isn’t often we meet someone who changes our lives. But that was definitely you. Thank you for your death as well. I know, that sounds funny, and that is just fine. But without you dying, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. For as much as I hated losing you, there was a huge gift within that experience. That gift is my happiness. I still miss you, my friend.

Life has this funny way of working out exactly how it should. Many times the process to get there sucks. Let’s just be honest here. But those life-changing experiences that change the course of our lives are meant to be there. 

I’ll Always Miss You

I still miss you, my friend. I always will. 

Discussion

Are you going through the process of grief? Tell me about your experience in the comments. Read more about grief.

11 Comments

  • Stephanie S.

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend. Losing someone is always so hard. It has been 3 years now since my father passed away.- I’m still finding it hard to believe. I always tell myself take all the time in the world to heal. It sure does help when thinking about all of the happy memories.

  • Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    That’s the funny thing about death–it freezes a person at a certain point. They no longer grow, learn, or do new things while your life goes on. You can treasure the memories, but you have to keep going. It may be hard at first, but as you know, it does get easier. There will still be times, though, when grief will hit you hard, even years later.

  • Scott DeNicola

    I lost a very close friend in high school when I was in my senior year. He stopped my wifes house (my girlfriend at the time) to give her mom a price for brickwork on her back patio. My wife joked with him that she hates his motorcycle so much and he joked with her and acted like he was fastening his seatbelt. He died about an hour later right up the road from her house. I got the call the next morning from my best friend at the time and I was gutted. I didn’t want to talk about it ever again and I still find it difficult to round that bend in her old neighborhood. I remember the fun-loving person he was and all the stupid shit he did to make me laugh. Death is weird like that, it makes you remember all the good about a person. I feel your pain. Your friend would be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

  • Melanie williams

    I am so sad to hear about the loss of your friend, I am never good with things like this, but you clearly are doing well and keeping your chin up xx

  • Nkem

    I was sorry to read this, sorry that you were left with pain and hurt and confusion… you are reflecting and healing and processing in your own way and that seems to be a healthy choice.

  • Britt K

    I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, have lost a friend to suicide and I know how frustrating that whole experience can be. You wish you could understand, that you could get some answers, and they never come. I love that you have the paracord project connection – it’s a great way to continue to honour your friend as time continues to tick on (because it never does stop, even when we feel like it should pause… even for a moment). While your friend may not be here physically any longer, the impact that they have had on your life will continue to live on as long as you don’t allow the memories to die. Sending love!

  • Kat

    I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. This is a wonderful tribute to them. I love how you have taken this heartbreaking experience and used it to move forward with your life and to create something out of it. I also find that creating is the way I best deal with loss and sorrow. Your friend will live on in everything that you do because of them or that was inspired by them.

  • Thuy-Linh Phan

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. I’m glad you shared this personal reflection and tribute with us. Mental health is important and we should normalize discussion about our feelings about suicide without stigma or guilt.

  • Nicole Anderson - Camping for Women

    This was so moving to read and I can’t imagine the pain this would have caused you, and continues to do so. Three years might seem a long time, yet I can imagine there are times when it feels like yesterday. Your journey into prepping and blogging both seem like worthwhile legacies from this tragedy as neither of these would have occurred had your friend’s passing not happened. Writing about this here and sharing your experience with us (your readers) not only gives us a greater insight into the wonderful person you are, but hopefully this post might also assist with the healing process for you as well. On the brighter side, it is fabulous to read your blog is profitable and is such a great outlet to convey so much knowledge and value to your readers, that must be so fulfilling for you. As one of your fans, I just wanted to say I feel your pain and I appreciate the significance of this in all that you have created in this blog.

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