I was 17. My friend was 18, just a year older. I was innocent and ignorant, E carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.
We were friends but came from very different backgrounds. I had it pretty easy, I had the family situation locked-down. E had it worse, he struggled from birth. A place he struggled to fit. I heard growing up he was a trouble-ish kid.
And although your relationship with your mother wasn’t always easy, I know you loved your mom it was clear to see, believe me.
The weird thing is E never seemed to struggle so we couldn’t tell that beneath the surface a sickness was beginning to bubble. See my friend was a popular guy who never had an issue finding people to spend time. And E must have been attractive, because with women my man was definitely sexually active. (Go on I said).
But one day the whole situation changed. It was a Friday, January 20th was the date. Who could have know, that after school your own death you would plot? Who could have known about all the pills you would pop? Who could have know that after the 64 pills you had popped that you’d survive and lay unconscious in a hospital cot? Who could have known, that as you lay there that your blood with start to clot and the next time you stood up your heart would have to stop?
Who could have known? Not any of us, you always seemed so chill, you rarely made a fuss. Yet, no matter how much you regretted it the decision you made couldn’t be corrected.
It was that day, that everything changed, someone gone forever, we could never be the same again. Although I struggled with the pain, I made a promise that I’d never leave this world the same way. That no matter how hard it got, if I was stressed or got depressed, I’d remember the reason for the tattoo across my chest. See in everything I do, I promised that the experience wasn’t for just me, I was living for two.
See, even though my friend’s suicide caused me the most pain I’ve ever felt, the same set of events gave me something else. In the years to follow it would come to light that through all the pain and the strife we always have people who stand with us for life. So although we had to lay Erbie to rest, his parting gift was telling me that my life had been blessed. Not in any religious sense, not in a way that anything was heaven-sent. But more in all the thing I always took for granted, my family, friends the people in my life; I had more than I ever could have wanted.
And yeah in the years following maybe I struggled with anxiety and depression, those same years taught me some valuable lessons. Without question, I’d give anything to have Erbie back, because of him I am a better person now (I think) and I will always be grateful for that.
I still think of Erbie from time to time. I don’t get sad anymore, just go over some memories. I still miss him though. It was Erbie’s birthday last week and found myself thinking about him a lot this week so I decided to put this little piece together. The guy would have been 24 this year which is crazy!As you may know I’m big on the whole mental health side of things so look after your friends god damn it! We all struggle with something at some point.