Today is exactly two years from when my best friend took his own life. It was less than six months after I lost my mother and it left me rattled for months. I still haven't completely recovered nor do I think I ever will. Circumstances and poor choices made it so we didn't see each other as much as we would have liked but I never felt a closer bond of friendship with anyone. Whenever we hung out, it didn't matter what we were actually doing, it was all about the conversation. He had a unique and well thought out point of view on so many subjects. Combine that with his hilarious sense of humor and it guaranteed that wherever we were, we had a great time. He was also one of the only people that I ever felt comfortable opening up to. When I lost my mother to suicide, he was the first one to reach out to me and the only person outside my family who I expressed my true thoughts to. Waking up this morning, I was sick to my stomach knowing that I have forever lost a special friendship that can never be equaled or replaced. I couldn't eat as much as I should before a marathon but I ate what I could and got out on the trail. Another day running along a canal without any human interaction left me with nothing but time to rehash all of the memories of times we shared. I thought back to when we saw Lou Reed together at Lollapalooza and to the outrageous birthday party he secretly planned for me a few years ago. However, mostly I just thought about how much I miss him and how life just isn't fair sometimes. I just want my mom and my friend back but nothing can change the past so I do my best to continue on. As fate would have it, the path I've taken while running across the country led me close enough to visit with my friend's sister in Maryland and then his mother in Indiana. Meeting with them meant a great deal to me and I'll remember both conversations the rest of my life. As sad as it was, seeing the faces of someone who lost their brother and a mother who lost her son strengthened my resolve to complete this journey and do whatever I can to play a role in increasing awareness of the epidemic of suicide.
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