It’s been almost two years now since he died, but his loss still brings me to tears more often than I will admit to my husband. In fact, the real root of many of my emotional breakdowns is a sudden intense missing of the man who had been my best friend for over ten years.
Although it was love at first sight for him, it took me several months of us spending a significant amount of time together for me to agree to date him. He was more than just a nice guy. He was sweet, compassionate, generous, and quickly became friends with everybody he met.
I can’t say how often we went somewhere and he ran into someone he knew. Everybody who knew him loved him and considered him a friend. It made me feel honored and special that he could have spent his time with anyone in the world, but he chose to spend it with me.
No matter what I did, he was my biggest fan. He had a child-like fascination with life and often was amazed and blown away by even the simplest things. At the time, I was writing a novel (by hand in a notebook, believe it or not!), and he spent countless hours listening in awe as I described the events of the story.
We dated for eight months, during which he fell madly in love with me and during which I came to love him like a brother and a good friend. To this day, I wonder if he had been right about me merely having been in a phase of not feeling romantic love.
Maybe if I had stuck it out, I would have been just as in love with him as he was with me. Perhaps we would have even gotten married and had kids, and maybe he wouldn’t have died as young as he did because I would have been there to take care of him when he stubbornly refused to take care of himself.
Maybe it’s those lingering “what if” questions that make me miss him the most when life isn’t going as entirely as I would like.
After our breakup, it took a few years, but we eventually were able to establish a deep friendship. We talked nearly every day, and I could talk to him about anything. Even late at night, I knew if I had an emotional crisis, he would be there to talk me through it.
A couple of years ago, I was a missionary, working at a school thousands of miles from my hometown. I attended a conference, and one of the things they talked about who was in your support network. I had four in mine: my mom, my cousin, my boyfriend, and my best guy friend. They were the four walls of my safe place, and they were all I needed.
Feeling appreciative of my best guy friend who had been there for so much of my life and continued to support me through everything, I sent him a message and not only thanked him for being my friend but reminded him that I loved him.
The next weekend I texted him just to talk and didn’t hear back from him for over 24 hours. It was unusual, but I didn’t overthink it. Then I got a call from my cousin and found out he had died the previous night. He wasn’t using his breathing machine at night and had just stopped breathing.
I felt my world come crashing down around me as one of the walls had been violently torn away without warning. I didn’t know how to cope with such a loss, and I still don’t.
It took almost a year to get to the point of being able to think about him and talk about him without feeling tightness in my throat and prickling in my eyes. Well, most of the time. Even now as I relive these events, my vision is blurred with tears, and I hope nobody comes in to find me crying in front of my computer screen.
True love is one that lasts for years, whether it’s romantic or platonic. And it never really dies. It’s something you carry with you for your entire life. And that’s not a bad thing. He inspired me and encouraged me more than anyone else in my life, and I want nothing more than to be the person that he thought I was.
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About the Author: Originally from Michigan, Melody now enjoys working as a freelance writer from her home in Nicaragua, which she shares with her amazing husband and their crazy cat that was raised on goat’s milk from the time her mother abandoned her at just ten days old. They’re excited to be expecting their first baby, who they thought was a girl, were told was a boy, and then was told was a girl. She also recently finished her first novel and is working on making a cat coloring book.