To my friend,
I came across this writing that I did not long after you left us. So many years have passed since I wrote the words. Your children were so young and have grown into adults who have families of their own. Just like a ticking clock, time continues to move forward. As time marched on, my life moved in a different direction with new faces. I have never forgotten my old life or the people who used to be in it. I watch from a distance, and I am very much ok with that.
I never realized just how much the choice that you made that day would affect my life. Your final thoughts, reasons, and feelings may only be known to very few people; I can only imagine what you must have been feeling. I am sure the darkness that overtook you is the same darkness that often falls over me. I know that I can safely say that I would not make the same choice that you made. I am not criticizing your choice in any way. Do I wish for your family’s sake you made a different choice? Yes.
I can say the choice you made that awful day has stuck with me for the rest of the days. When the darkness creeps into my mind, I think of you. I am reminded of the pain and emptiness that was left. I can keep the permanent night from taking over completely. I will leave this letter with my words written so long ago.
I was sitting on a park bench, watching the people go by. I saw you walk by. I stood to get a better look, and just out of sight, there you were… I tried to follow, but you were too quick. First, I walked very fast, trying to follow. I could still just see you ahead. Next, I started to run. I ran so fast and so far that I realized I was on a beach… Nothing but the wind blowing in my hair, sea birds swimming in the breeze, the sound of the ocean in my ear, the warm sand under my feet. I looked all over and could not find you. Down on the sand, I could see your footprints.
I could not understand where you went and why I could not see you… Then I could hear you calling my name. I turned to see, but you were not there. Thinking I was alone and must have been mistaken. It was at that moment you showed yourself to me. I could see you and hear you. You were not behind me or in front of me… You were not around the next bend… You were with me right beside me… I could see your face, your beautiful blue eyes looking into mine. I could hear your voice in my ear. You let me see through your eyes. You showed me you are in a better place. It is a beautiful, peaceful place. I was able to see Brandon and Sam, little Sarah. You showed me that you do watch over us. You help to guide us.
You let me hear through your ears. The thoughts from your children. The tears and sobs from your little sister. The “I’m sorry’s…” and the “I should have’s…..” You let me feel the peace in your heart. You showed me the light. You told me that Jeannie could wipe her eyes and dry her tears. All of the “I’m sorry’s” were forgiven. All of the “I should have’s” were not thought of again. You filled my heart with love and peace. For that is what you have found. You told me it was “ok.” It was then that I realized I was no longer feeling the wind in my hair. I could not see the waves rush up on the beach…..I was back on the park bench, watching the people go by. This time was different, I this time, instead of seeing you in every face, and hearing you with every voice… I could feel you, in the cool breeze, the warm sun shining on my face, the birds chirping in the trees. At that exact moment, I realized you are all around us and will never leave us.C. Holmes
I will close this open letter with a few words for my readers. If you feel the darkness getting to be too much to handle. Reach out to someone. Remember that you are not alone and worth more than you think. If you know someone you think may let the darkness overtake them speak up. One day they will thank you for saving their life.