Monday, May 5, 2014

"If only" and other lamentations

I went to a memorial service this weekend for a 17 year-old boy who took his own life.  There’s not a soft way to say that.  I think that’s a good thing.  (For the purpose of avoiding pronoun confusion, I’m going to call the deceased Tim.)  But this post isn’t about suicide.  I’m sure that you are able to divine my views on that topic from the URL of this blog (youcannontmakemequit).

I would like to focus instead on the inspiration that our lives are to others.  Even if you think you don’t know anyone, don’t have any friends, and that the world would not miss you for even a moment.  That’s a lie.  If you breathe, you are influencing someone else.

There was an open mic during the service and a lot of the seniors in Tim’s class came forward to speak.  There were two people I want to tell you about specifically that I know, with absolute certainty, will not live life the same now.  The first was a girl who was absolutely a high school girl.  She told a story about going to the movies.  How Tim had asked her several times if she wanted to go see Walter Mitty.  How she was in a relationship and didn’t want to.  How she relented and went.  How when he dropped her off she said, “I’m in a relationship, I hope you aren’t expecting anything.”  And he said, “I wasn’t asking you out.  I just think you’re cool and wanted to get to know you better so we can be friends.”  She apologized for saying it but… “That made me so happy.  Tim wanted to be friends!  I really miss him.”

The second was a boy who freely admitted he didn’t know Tim very well or for very long.  He was shy and kept to himself, but Tim had approached him a couple of months ago and broke the ice.  Broke the silence.  Said, “We should be friends.”  And they were.  He told about Tim helping him out of ‘this and that’ ending with words that still haunt me.

“Tim was always there for me.  I wish I could have been there for him.”

Me too.