I still remember getting the call that he had taken his own life. I was 13. I couldn’t believe it. I had just spoken with him the day before and thought he was going to be ok.
He was my best friend. We’d met in a grief group in middle school, having both lost siblings. We made a pact together one that no one else really understood. Two days before he passed, he called me and I knew something was wrong. I told him that we’d come pick him up and he could come have dinner at my house, but he abruptly hung up. I called him back, but he didn’t answer. I remember sitting in my driveway hoping that he and his mom would pull up. A few hours went by until I was finally able to get ahold of him. He said that he was fine and even managed to make a joke to make me laugh. He always had a way of making everyone around him laugh; he could light up a room. Still, something just didn’t feel right.
I called our grief group counselor to let her know that I was concerned. She reached out to him and made plans to meet him for lunch the following day. My family and I were heading across the country to see my cousins and I wanted to make sure that he had someone to talk to. I did all the right things, but it still wasn’t enough.
When my plane landed, my mom had a phone full of missed calls and voicemails. He had taken his own life. The one person whom I felt could truly empathize with me was gone. It’s hard to not think of what I could have said or done differently, a weight that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
If I could say one more thing to him, it would be that he made such a positive impact on my life and so many others who were lucky enough to have met him.
UDC Athlete, Victoria