Requiem for a classmate

What, how and why?

Those are the things that came to mind when I heard that a longtime friend had killed himself tonight. Once you get past the realization that you will never know the most important and pressing question of why, you can start to grieve.

That moment hit me like a punch to the solar plexus. I doubled up in the pain of grief. Tears coming hot and fast.

Surprised that that part of me still felt was a bigger surprise. I’ve been here before, grief is an old tired friend, but the fact that it still hurt this bad for an old man, 53 years old. He had young kids, he started late, why would do the unthinkable to them, hit me hard.

Who hasn’t thought of offing yourself, but it’s the cowards way out, that unimaginable pain, visited upon your loved ones, parents, siblings, cousins, friends. How could he do that to his kids?

Anger, that’s the next thing. Mother fucking asshole, what was he thinking?

Guilt, I should have known, what could I have done. When was the last time I even talked to him? He was there for me when my son died. Flew all the way from San Diego to comfort me in my inconsolable days. Then I just let him make the worst mistake of his life. Some friend I was.

Acceptance? I think back to that movie, “the big chill,” a friend dies by his own hand, his friends gather and grieve together, accepting his choice. I remember sitting in his apartment eating some really bad spaghetti and discussing life and plans. No thoughts of the end. Acceptance, maybe some day.

I hope that you found some peace, Kurt.

This is your requiem.


Me and Kurt (on the right) when we were young and death was an abstract concept.

© The Autobiography of Mr. Perfect, 2014

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2 Responses to Requiem for a classmate

  1. Unresolved potential. It’s the saddest.

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