Tonight I am going to a funeral. Let’s just start there.
It is for someone I barely knew but somehow I really feel that I need to be there. The funeral is for a young man that I worked with. I had only met him a few times as he was rather new. Last month while I was working over the weekend, he came in with his arm all bandaged up. We had to send him home because we don’t allow anyone at the work site “under the influence” and that includes pain meds. His mom had dropped him off (yes he is that young) so since I lived nearby I drove him home. For a little over an hour we drove in near silence. When he didn’t open up much, I asked him if he liked audio books and we listen to The Anansi Boys. And he slept part of the way. I made sure he made it home. But that was about it.
I was the last person from work to see him alive.
This weekend I learned that he had killed himself.
The worst part for me, was when they told me about it, I had a really hard time remembering who he was. I drove the kid home. I spent over an hour in the car with him. And I barely recognized his name. And it took me a while to match it up with a face in my head.
So tonight is the funeral. I am going along with several other folks from work. We are there to support his mother, who none of us know, as much as to say good bye to a man many of us barely knew.
I was going to say something like life is never that bad… or something like that, but I don’t have it in me at the moment. Instead I am going to say look around you. remember that everyone has their own pain, and sometimes what you might think of as nothing, could be overwhelming to them. Check on each other. Ask the hard questions. Be there for each other.