Content warning: suicide
Losing a mate to suicide, four months on
Four months ago, my mate John took his own life. The time of intense sweeping emotions has passed… No longer the sleepless nights filled with grief. The flashes of anger have abated, the days of bewilderment have ceased, and finally the tears have mostly gone. Thankfully, I have begun to move into a place of forgiveness. All of these intense emotions have been replaced by a quiet, pervasive sadness and a vague sense of lingering rejection and loneliness.
This loneliness doesn’t have a capital ‘L’, but rather a gentle sense of absence. I have many other friends, some even closer than John was, but nobody is John. Those unique things that John brought to my life are gone forever. He is dead and isn’t coming back.
While he is gone, the things we did together are still part of my life. I am still interested in current affairs, still love a chat and a coffee. I still need to go to the gym, and I still love to get an amusing text.
Now that the roller coaster of emotions is over, it is time to reclaim the spaces we occupied together. I’ve started back at the gym, admittedly not to the same one we went to together, but that will come. I have sat in the coffee shop we used to frequent. The first time I did so felt a little like my own private memorial service as I was so sad. The second time was easier.
Whilst I am slowly reclaiming those places that were ‘ours’ as ‘mine’, I am still very aware that I am a friend down. There is one less person in the world who is interested in me, and I am missing that contact.
I am also really aware that what I used to give to John is now sitting fallow within me. I miss that opportunity to give.
I know over time I will make new connections, but at my age (middle age), new friends are slow to make. The lives of people around me are full, and busy is everyone’s standard mode. However, if this year has taught me anything, lives are always in flux and opportunities arise when you seek them out. I remain optimistic.