Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tribute to a Friend

Last week ended with unexpected news of a friend's untimely death. My friend is someone that I know through my company, and that I maintain contact with via Facebook and Four Square. It wasn't until several months ago that I learned that he is best friends with another person that I have recently become good friends with.

My friend made the decision to take his own life.

What I struggle with is that everything is not always as it seems in someones life. In order for him to have done this, he must have been hurting inside very much. Whenever I saw him, he always had a big smile on his face and could always make me laugh. And from the many pictures that have appeared on his Facebook page, this is a similar memory that many people shared with him. Within the past year he moved to a state that he loved (what's not to love about Colorado?), purchased a new car, and had recently shared with me the excitement and nervousness that he had about meeting someone during an upcoming trip to Florida.

I still remember how he and I met. We were both on a work assignment in Ohio after Hurricane Ike moved its way across the country. After initially meeting, his name sounded familiar to me, but I couldn't figure out why. All I knew was that he would stop by to chat when he could, always had a smile for me, and made me laugh. He was a genuine person with a kind spirit. It wasn't until I had a long weekend off and traveled home that I finally realized why his name was familiar to me: he and I had written stories for a book published by our company entitled "Our Stories", which is a collection of stories by members of the LGBT community and their allies. I had submitted a story about my best friend and when he came out to me; my friend had submitted a story about his coming out.

I may never know the reason my friend took his life. Instead I'm just thankful for the time that I knew him and the impact that he made on my life.


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