What I remember the most is sitting on my bed with my head in my hands, tears pouring down my face. I'd been through as much as the average teenager had, but unlike some, I wasn't unfamiliar to death; still, this hurt more than usual. I had seen my grandfather, with a serene face, in a shining black casket and I had seen my nine-month-old nephew's body in a much-too-small white one, his legs still bowed from never having learned to walk. I'd had friends go, family both young and old, some near-strangers. Still, each time it felt like disaster had struck; not one of them left me without a feeling of despair. I learned young that, though life is the longest and most constant thing that any of us will ever experience, the saying “life is short” is the truest of clichés. Life doesn't last forever—others come, they most often go before we have the time to prepare, always before we've said the proper goodbyes.
This hit me harder than anything I had ever experienced; it absolutely paralyzed me. My best friend in the entire world, someone with whom I had been the butt of numerous jokes, was out of my life forever. I didn't even have the time to blink. He had always called me when he felt down, but something changed; I never got to find out what that was and no one will ever be able to tell me. He didn't leave a note. He didn't leave behind any explanation whatsoever, not in any form: he didn't take the time to email me, to leave me a last stupid voice-mail, to at least give me some secret code in his behavior. He didn't change his personality in surrender, some indication of his decision. He didn't show signs that left me in fear, anything that could have given me the hint to pay more attention. He gave me nothing after so long of cluing me in to (what I thought) was every emotion, every hardship that was thrown his way.
Now I am forever left in the dark, as if he were my sun; at the time he may not have been the exact center of my universe, rather an off-centered, obscured satellite, but he was always present. One disaster, however, has completely changed my focus, and now its one of the most constant things on my mind. I'll never feel whole without some explanation, any insight into what he was thinking in those last few moments. What triggered his decision? What was bad enough for him to ruin a family and numerous friendships, to give up on life in the most harrowing of ways? What exactly brought him to tie a noose around his neck in the gloom of his own garage? I'll never know, because he has completely blackened my chance at understanding forever; he has, at the very least, dimmed my world.