I got news yesterday morning that an old childhood friend, adult acquaintance, past classmate, and former serious boyfriend to my little sister had died an untimely death.
Less than 24 hours before, I found myself at my desk at work, distracting myself with Facebook only to be drawn to his page. I hadn’t looked at his page in ages, or even really thought of him for a long time, but just hours before he died I was scrolling through status updates, pictures, and trying to catch up with him as we do these days through social media. I was thinking a lot about him, what his life was like now, how his family was, what his new girlfriend was like. I was remembering the times he was a part of our family functions. I was remembering his handsome face and contagious smile and the goofy things we used to do on our Cross Country trips. I was remembering how my sister loved him and he loved her and how they were so unique together. I was feeling happy that I knew they were still friends. I was thinking about his brother Zack who also lives out here in LA. Mostly, it was all just a random flood of thoughts, curiousity, and well wishes. That doesn’t hold a whole lot of weight usually, it’s pretty innocent. Still is. Sometimes, someone just floats across your consciousness and in this day in age we can act on those thoughts by checking in with people via Facebook or Twitter.
Tuesday morning I got up early and finished my daily quiet time and followed it by a Facebook check only to find the confusing and daunting news that he had died. It really didn’t make sense to me, but after only reading one wall post I knew in my heart he was gone, and I felt in my heart he had taken his own life.
I called my sister because I wanted to tell her before she found out through Facebook. I called my parents. I cried. I went to work. I checked Facebook 5 million times throughout the day. I cried more at work. I went home. I left. I came back home. I cried again until I couldn’t breathe through my nose and my ears were plugged. I went to bed with a heavy but peaceful heart.
Although I had not seen him in a few years, I felt his passing as if no time or distance had ever passed. Why do some peoples lives affect us so much? And more importantly, their deaths? I can really feel his death in my bones. It has stirred up emotions and compassion that I did not know I had. I used to have a preexisting judgement related to suicide. That has been lifted in recent years and with his passing, all of everything I have on the insides lets me know that he has gone somewhere better.
I feel so connceted today, as I did yesterday. Connected with the compassion that I have for so many people that suffer inwardly and silently. Compassion for those that suffer outwardly too. Just compassion. Simple. In this I feel a connection to everyone and everything and feel that we really are, ALL in this together. This life isn’t easy, I don’t think it was ever meant to be, but it can be beautiful- we just have to look and seek.
I don’t know why my thoughts were guided towards him in the hours leading up to his death, I can’t explain that. Maybe God was just preparing my heart for compassion.
Peace and compassion to everyone today.