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Dear Anthony

For His Childhood Friend

A few weeks ago, one of my boyfriend’s oldest friends, Anthony, passed away suddenly through a tragic accident. He was only 25. Watching my love go through this pain has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to witness. I’m at a loss of what to say or do for him… so I wrote down my feelings and frustrations and I addressed them to the only other person who could understand… Anthony. I debated even publishing this, as I didn't get the opportunity to get to know Anthony well, but I needed to say this to him, in my own way.

I’ve watched the outpouring of grief and love for him in the weeks following his death and I can only hope that wherever he is, he’s feeling the impact he made on everyone he met.

Hug your loved ones tonight and everyday after. Tell them you love them… tomorrow isn’t promised. 

***

I watch him.

He says he's fine, but I know he's not.

He goes to work each day, he soldiers on.

But, I see the truth.

I see it every time his eyes start to glaze over, thinking about you.

I feel it when he puts something down, making it slam just a little too hard.

I feel it when he turns away from me at night, and forces himself to feel every bit of pain.

You, his childhood friend, suddenly gone, ripped from this world too soon.

He just had drinks with you, only a few months ago…

You were just sending each other Snapchats and talking about your jobs…

He was just talking about how you were going to be in town for a couple of weeks…

You were going to see him, only two days after you died…

How did this happen?

This was not supposed to happen.

You were here and now you're not, because of one error in judgement.

One bad decision.

One life lost, leaving a million broken hearts behind you.

It's the kind of grief you never expect to feel. How are we supposed to mourn for a 25-year-old?

You should still be here. You should be alive.

Neither one of you realized the last time you saw each other would truly be the last.

I just want to make it better for him, but I don't know how.

I can't bring you back.

I can't make him un-see you lying in your casket...

a man once so full of life - always smiling - now clutching a rosary as your loved ones weep over you.

Your mother called out for you in agony…

Your brother never altered his blank stare…

Your “tough-guy” friends fought back tears and lost...

It rained at the cemetery.

He prayed over you,

and then he cried for you,

and then he said goodbye.

But he couldn’t walk away.

He kept turning around, giving you one last look.

He didn’t want to leave you there,

he didn’t want you to be alone.

But finally, he walked away.

Did he say everything he needed to say?

Did you know how much you meant to him?

He may never get the answers.

Anthony,

I know you didn’t want this…

I know it was a tragic accident…

But I'm mad at you for making him feel this pain...

You made a reckless mistake, and it’s affected so many…

I’m so angry.

…and yet I thank you.

I thank you, for being such a good friend to him

I thank you for never letting distance affect your friendship

I thank you for meeting his son, and seeing what an amazing father he is.

His pain is real, and it cuts deep…

but, I thank you…

because if you cared for him any less, then it wouldn’t hurt so bad

So, thank you for caring for him, for loving him that much.

Eventually, his pain will lessen

and our lives will go on.

But, he will never, ever forget you.

So, while I wait for his hurt to turn into fond memories,

...I watch him.

I hope you’re watching him too.

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