Three and a half years ago I met a man in the most unlikely of places. It was a random, social website and it was by pure happenstance that we became friends.
After about three months we decided to exchange phone numbers. We spoke almost every day for nearly a year until life got a little too busy for us to continue that, but we still kept in regular contact. We helped each other through a lot of struggles. We were there for each other, supported each other, and loved each other. No, not in a romantic sense. Nothing close to that. It was as close to a father/daughter relationship I’ve ever experienced.
On April 9th we found out devastating news. My dear friend was losing a battle with cancer when we only just found out he had it. It was extremely aggressive and by time he started feeling the symptoms of it, it was already too late. My dear friend was beyond treatment and was given a lifespan of three months. He took the news with grace and dignity and straightaway set out to make amends with all those he loved. He maintained a positive spirit and a hopeful heart and he remarried his ex so he could be sure she and their two children would be well taken care of after he left this world. He worked as a corrections officer for many years and earned a good pension. His family will be well cared for.
Today I found out more devastating news. Last night, on May 13, 2015 my dear friend succumbed to his battle with cancer. I found out through Facebook. My newsfeed became flooded with people he knew tagging him in posts, sharing pictures, sharing stories, and wishing he and his family peace. I have no idea if he was surrounded by his loved ones or if he passed peacefully in his sleep, I have no idea. What I do know is when I awoke this morning he was the first person on my mind. After I gave my children their breakfast I decided to send him a text message asking him how he was doing today. After all it has been a couple weeks since we last spoke. it breaks my heart knowing he will never reply. Seeing all the posts on Facebook about his passing was so painful it felt like my heart was getting ripped from my chest. I sat there and read on and on in disbelief as tears began to freely flow down my face.
I felt a panic attack coming on and immediately called my mother. I bawled on the phone with her, seeking answers and comfort, until I finally felt ok. I love my mother so much. She would have liked my friend.
Though our time was short, it is filled with wonderful memories. We never had an argument with each other. We never exchanged harsh or negative words. He has been a constant light in my life. I feel so lost without him. But I know this is not goodbye forever, it is only farewell for now. I will see him in the afterlife. I hope he’ll have a lawn chair waiting for me with a smile on his face and a hug ready in his arms.
I love you so much. Rest in peace, my dear friend.