For the purpose of this blog, let's call him Dude. Jared had been friends with Dude since Junior High, and having known Jared for almost 8 years, I had known Dude about as long. We partied together mainly, but also laughed, joked, smiled, sang, cared, pissed off, annoyed, cried, and loved.
Jared's birthday was October 20th, and very late that night, Dude was hit by a car, and left to die alone on the side of the road. It was a hit and run driver, and Dude's body was found at about 1:30 in the morning. The driver has since turned herself in, and the story just gets weirder and weirder, but there's no need to go into it. It's already done.
The last weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. So many lows, but so many ups as well. Sorrow for the loss of a friend. Pain in the heart for the details involved. Grief for everyone who is suffering. Guilt for not being as patient as I should have. Compassion for family and friends. Love for everyone. Seriously, so much love for everyone. Sincerity in everything I feel. Nerves for driving/walking/even just moving. Heartbreak to see the love of my life have a broken heart, and people I love all around me hurting. Crap, the list just goes on and on.
Most of all though, I feel so grateful to have know him. I didn't know him well, but I knew him enough to know that he was a lover, a jokester, a pranker, a magician, a sports lover, a son, a brother, a scholar, a human being with flaws, and most of all to Jared and me, a friend. He tried so hard to make everyone smile, and I'll never forget that.
Dude's parents said that 3 weeks before his death, he had mentioned that he wanted this song played at his funeral:
And so it was, ironically enough.
The silver lining in all of this, is my renewed faith in humanity. I have never witnessed anything as inspiring as the people who came together to help each other, with only the love for Dude as the string that binds them. All that love in one place..... I hope I don't let go of what that felt like.
Friends: please remember to say "I love you" today. And every day. Please rekindle relationships and say "I'm sorry." Please remember just how fragile and precious our relationships and lives are, and think about how lucky you are to live the life that you do.
Cheers to you Dude. You tried so hard to make everyone around you smile. Remembering your adventurous spirit and contagious laugh will never go out of style. Ever. Love you Dude.