I haven't posted on here in quite some time. On June 26th, 3 days after my last post, tragedy struck and I am just now able to talk about it without dissolving into hysterics.
My best friend, Tommy, came in to town (he's in the military and had some leave) on Sunday the 22nd of June. He celebrated his Mom's birthday on Sunday. On Monday, he came over and we had some beers, and then went out to a local bar that we liked. Met up with some friends, had a great time. The best time we ever had, actually, which means a lot to me. He slept at my place, and on Tuesday morning we went and had breakfast together. He left and went to another friend's place. He called me that night and asked me to come hang out, but I was too tired . I said I would stay home. That was the last time I ever talked to him.
On Wednesday, I called his phone and his friend answered. I knew right away something was wrong, from the tone in her voice. She told me that she was at the hospital, that she'd found him not breathing and he was in a bad way. I broke down right away, because I knew it couldn't be good. I rushed up to the ER, and when I got there found that he was basically on life support; he'd been without oxygen for some time (possibly 20 minutes) and was completely unresponsive. They'd done CPR, but they said that he certainly would have brain damage and was in very serious condition. I got to hold his hand and talked to him, but of course he didn't know I was there. His family was there as well, and everyone was completely shocked and devastated by what had happened. I'm not being evasive about what triggered this; we still don't know for sure. He had some problems in the past, and I think his body finally just gave out on him.
Anyway, the priest came (he, like me, was a former Catholic; his parents still practice) and performed the Anointing of the Sick. They finally moved him up to his own ICU room, where I got to go in and see him again. I swear, he squeezed my hand but it could have just been reflexive. For some time, we had some hope and it looked like he might make it. I was almost asleep (I stayed with his mom at the hospital) when the alarm went off, meaning he had crashed and they were trying to bring him back. Which they did. Again, and again, and again. Finally, at around 6:30am, it was finally too much...........and he was gone. Thankfully, I got to go in and see him and hold his hand once last time before he was carted off and the medical examiner and undertakers did their awful work.
I'm no stranger to loss. In the past few years, I've lost my father, another best friend, and several other friends as well. But nothing could ever have prepared me for this. If grief could kill a person, I wouldn't be here right now. How could this amazing, beautiful, 26 year old man be gone? How could his strong body be laying there and not breathing? It almost seemed like a horrible joke, like he would wake up any minute and tell me it wasn't real. How could the one person who always had the power to cheer me up, to make me feel like I meant something, who always made me feel attractive even after I got sick and gained a lot of weight.........how could this person I relied on so much leave me?
I don't have to tell you, the funeral was a horrible ordeal. The viewing was even worse. Thank God I got to see him in the hospital; he looked like himself, only sleeping, even after he'd died. After they undertakers had gotten him, though, he looked awful and completely unlike the person I had known and loved. I was asked to be a pallbearer, and honor for which I will always be grateful to his family for.
Honestly, at this point I feel like I am just marking time. I've lost literally more than half of the people I've ever cared about, and I am only 27. A world without Tommy, without Matt, without Ben and Phil and Dad and all the others isn't really a world I have much interest in anymore. It's obvious to me that "happiness" is something I will never have; I couldn't have it, having lost so much. It's equally obvious, however, that I must still be around for SOMETHING; the question is, what? That's what I need to find out, though I don't know exactly how to discover the answer. I only hope it's all worth it in the end.
I love you, Tommy. I'm gonna miss you pal.