For the two weeks until the election I will be posting an open letter every day using the prompts from CAPTAINEVERLAND to provide something nice at a time of heightened conflict and division.
TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of suicide. If you are feeling bad, the Samaritans are there to listen at 116 123 (free number).
I know you are not the only person I’ve drifted away from, and a lot of what I’m about to write is basically applicable to all of those who also are people I’ve drifted away from, and I’m also aware that there is one prompt about someone who died we wish we could still speak to that also applies to you, but there are many reasons someone can die without you having drifted away from them, and there’s no reason to write this letter to someone that is still here for me to contact them (unless the point of the letter is to say that I have no intention to do that…). So you’re getting this letter.
Ever since your cousin Laura called me to give me the news, and even more so since your girlfriend Laura was writing on FB about not having heard from you, I haven’t been able to get out of my mind something that happened that week. If you are, as I believe you are, in Heaven, I’m sure God told you what this is about. I still think that forgiveness has to be asked for by owning up to our mistakes, and I failed you and for that I am sorry. I still cry when I think about it (like now).
Some time ago I’ve heard the story of the conversion of Scott Hahn. In this talk, he recounted a time when he visited a friend, prompted by something inside him, not knowing the friend was suicidal. And how that visit saved his friend. Sadly, it wasn’t my first thought when something inside me prompted me to call you, as I realised I hadn’t spoken to you in a while. As a Christian, I should be aware that the Holy Spirit is at work in me, and maybe remembering you was not an idle thought. Instead, business took over: I took for granted that I could still call you the week after, not knowing it was going to be your last week. And then, you were gone. I don’t presume that my call would have saved you, or what was God’s plan, but, even if your story was going to be different from Scott Hahn’s friend’s story, I would have been able to speak to you one last time, even if I would have thought our goodbyes then weren’t final. Maybe you wouldn’t even have picked up the phone, you lost my number before. I really don’t know. Still, I can’t help but feel guilty over this, whichever way you look at it. Many have said I’m being too hard on myself, that really these situations are so much more complex, and God is bigger than my inability to call, surely He would have had a plan B and C, and maybe it’s true. I just feel it’s too easy to become too complacent in friendships that are really strong and have stood the test of time before. Time flies without us realising, it seems absurd it’s already been over a year since this tragic day. Time flies until it’s too late, and we’re left living with regrets. You’re a too beautiful soul to be there thinking I deserve to live with this, but I’m not quite as good as you are. You still saw something in me that no one else sees, and Laura said so herself when she gave me the news. We had a special friendship, and that kinda makes it worse. Special friends should be there. It shouldn’t have ended like this. Still, I have hope that not all is lost because Heaven is real, and while I have not much to hold on but hope that I’ll get there too, I can’t see anyone that God wouldn’t want to keep closer than you.
So, until the next life, hopefully.