What really matters

The two short weeks following my friend David’s death have been filled with some of the mundane details of everyday life. One of the hardest parts of all of this is admitting that time, unfortunately, does march on, and you can’t just sit there and wallow. At least, I don’t have that luxury, and I’m not sure I’d want it. I’ve always been someone who never minded the silence; I don’t listen to music all day, or have the TV on for background noise. A little silence goes a long way with me. But the silence is deafening right now, so I’ve been filling it with music and background noise and reading and anything to distract me. I’m at the point where I need and want to talk with people about David, and his life, and that helps me. It’s the alone part where things stay difficult.

This experience of losing someone suddenly who was close to my age, and someone who I genuinely cared about and loved, has taught me some difficult lessons and revealed to me some of the more morbid parts of human nature. Time is so short, and so fleeting. We really only get a moment on this earth, a little longer if we’re lucky, before it’s all dust. It propelled me into taking some much-needed steps towards my future and put myself out there in a way that I never really have, but that seems to be paying off. I feel so incredibly guilty seeing my future taking shape while swallowing the bitter truth that David’s future is gone. I won’t be as arrogant as to assume that I know precisely what he would have wanted for me and everyone around him, but I like to think that he wanted me to be happy. Over the weekend I found some old blog entries somewhere from 2012 when I was at one of my most depressed points in my life. I hated everything about me and my life and I couldn’t see myself having a future. To be sitting here over 4 years later and made it out of that bad place and to see my desires for my future to be taking shape and my adult life finally rounding out is nothing short of incredible, and I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take my grief and turn it into something semi-productive.

The eager and urgent way with which people flocked to me after learning about his death, looking for details and answers, is one of the most difficult things that this has brought about. I understand why people want the details behind what happened. It’s human nature to be curious and want the answers that someone could provide. But at the same time, the answers don’t matter. What matters is that this young person is gone and that in the short time he was here, he touched a lot of lives in indelible ways. I don’t want people’s first impressions, last thoughts, or only memories of him to be of the way that he died. People should know that he was one of the smartest and hardest workers that I’ve ever known in my life. Every day he came to work he hustled harder, moved quicker and did absolutely everything he could possibly do for me as his boss. He had an absolutely vile sense of humor and could always make me laugh, no matter what mood I was in. He taught me to lighten up and be able to laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously. He loved macaroni and cheese and his dog, Mia. He would make fun of you in one breath and tell you he loved you in the next. He was unfailingly generous and loved giving people stuff that he knew would make them happy. He was one of the happiest individuals I’ve ever known. He struggled with some real shit but he was one of the best people.

Those are the things I want people to remember and know about him. That’s the stuff that really matters.

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