I recently lost a Friend. In reality, I lost him years ago.
We first met in the 9th grade at an all-boys Catholic high school. I was coming there from a public school and did not know many of the other students in my class, as most of them came up through the parochial system and had their group of friends. He was one of the first to introduce himself to me, and we discovered that we both enjoyed hunting and fishing. We also had birthdays that were days apart. As we went through high school, we both enjoyed other “interests”, which were illegal back then.
Our group of friends stayed tight throughout high school and made great memories. We all went to different colleges after graduation, but we stayed in touch, hung-out when we were all home for holidays and breaks, and took road trips to see each other.
After college, we stayed in touch. I was in his wedding. We still lived in different cities, but we found time to hang out and party.
However, his partying was getting more and more harder than mine. His personality changed also.
We were on different but parallel paths. I had a career, I was married and starting a family, and I made the decision to live a sober life. He continued drinking and using and lost his family.
We occasionally messaged each other, usually on our birthdays. I followed him on social media and could see the trouble he was getting into. He was given numerous opportunities, but the drugs and alcohol controlled his life.
In meetings I attend, we sometimes talk about those friends we just can’t hang out with anymore. We still love them, but we have to do so from a distance. He was the one I always thought of.
I considered reaching out to see if he needed my help, but I didn’t. I just said to myself that I would be there for him if he wanted to change and seek recovery.
Last Friday, I was chairing a meeting and talking about how grateful I am for the life I am living. At that exact same time, my Friend was hit by a car and was dying on the side of a road.
Even though it has been years since I have seen him, his death hurts. We took separate paths. I am still on mine. His was rough and painful, but I know that he has reached his destination and is now at Peace.
I love you and miss you, my Friend.