I had a friend once. He was a very close friend. We shared similar interests. We shared the same brand of humor. We confided in each other. We were brothers.
About three years ago we had a falling out. The reasons why are not relevant. We tried to repair the friendship but the damage was too great. We slowly disassociated ourselves from the other, each indignant at our perceived slights. He has only seen pictures of Baby C. He has never met him. Five months ago my former friend welcomed his second child into this world. A son. I have never seen a picture of him. I have never met him. And I never will.
Life is a cruel and merciless journey fraught with misery, misdeeds, and injustice. Sure, there are good times, but sometimes they can’t outshine the bad. Horrible things happen to good people. There are no reasons why. No justification. Just horrible shit for no other reason than because life says so.
I have had reminder after reminder this past year of how cruel life can be. Tonight, however, I am reminded that I could have it worse. Much, much worse. My former friend’s newborn son passed away in his sleep this past week. Gone. Just like that.
I found out this morning and have been on the verge of tears all day. Tears for a little boy I never knew. Tears for my former friend and the unimaginable heartache he is suffering. Tears for my former friend’s wife, who’s only child is gone. I have put myself in his place off and on throughout the day. How would I feel if one of my children died? I can’t imagine it. The very thought overwhelms me emotionally and I cease to think. I feel…there are no words I can conjure at this moment to describe how I feel. They elude me. My children mean everything to me. Everything. The thought of losing them is my greatest fear and now my former friend is facing that reality. That fear.
I’ve spent the day debating reaching out to my former friend. I debated asking a mutual friend for his email address or phone number. We haven’t spoken in almost three years. In the end I opted to pass my condolences along through the mutual friend. I feel that contacting him would only add to his misery right now and I don’t want to make things any harder for him.
Lee, if by some chance you ever happen to read this, please know that my heart goes out to you and you have my deepest sympathies. I am incredibly sorry for your loss and cannot fathom what you must be going through right now. May your son rest in peace.