You have been gone for three years now. I still think of you often.
I think about you when I visit our old university campus. I think about you when I go past the place you are buried. I think about you when I watch a silly YouTube video. I think about you on your birthday and mine. We were the same age.
You are in my thoughts so often and whilst I think of you with fondness and happiness at the memories we made together, it is still painful.
I found out that you’d died whilst I was in Amsterdam, at the airport waiting for my flight to come home. Surrounded by people and not able to have the space and time to process what I’d just found out. Without being told, I knew you had taken your own life. It was just a sense I had. I’d known you were struggling with depression for some time. I was there when it first hit you. I remember you telling me how difficult you were finding life. I saw you deteriorate. At that time I did not think it would lead to suicide. I don’t think anyone did.
I wasn’t around for the last few years of your life. I was very much wrapped up in my own shit and trying to hold myself together. That is no excuse for not being there for you. I’m sorry.
I will never have the chance to tell you how grateful I am that you were in my life. The first Christmas I had to spend alone, you were there for me. You and your family took me into your home, made me feel welcome and loved at an incredibly difficult time in my life. I will be forever grateful for that.
To know that you were in so much pain that you wanted to die is difficult for me to get my head around. Images fly around my head, picturing the moment that you decided to take the pills and thus take your life. I can’t shake that image, even though it’s an image of my own creation. I wish I could have been there for you. I should have been there for you and I wasn’t. I let you down.
Even though there is a part of me that knows on a logical level that I probably could have done nothing to stop you, it doesn’t remove the guilt. Guilt is a normal feeling when someone takes their life. However, I probably could have done more to help you be aware that you were loved. You were important. For me personally, you saved me when everything else was falling apart.
I respect that you made the choice to die. I find it difficult but who am I to judge the decision you made. I can’t imagine the pain you were in to want it to go away that badly. I’m so sorry that you felt death was your only way out.
It’s three years on. I still think of you often.
I miss you.