This afternoon, I found out some pretty devastating news about a friend... He passed away at 4.15 this morning, Eastern Time. Only 41 years old. Below is the letter I wrote, as a feeble way to cope with this tremendous loss. For the sake of privacy, I've omitted the person's name.
For my friend,
I found out this afternoon when I got home. It’s so surreal. When I was doing my laundry at around midnight, I saw ambulance lights flashing in the driveway behind our quad. My immediate thought was YOU. I saw you just yesterday, not even a full 24 hours ago! You’d mentioned having to go to the ER, so when I saw the flashing lights this morning, I thought, ‘Oh, no, maybe it got worse...’ and I kept you in my prayers when I went to bed. This morning, as I was getting my day started, your name popped into my head so prominently, I immediately thought, ‘Lord, please care for my friend!’ and left it at His lap.
Today, during Mass, it was the Third Scrutiny for us in RCIA. The story? Lazarus. I know, I know, you weren’t a ‘church kinda person,’ I can hear your voice say to me, ‘Cat Lady, you know I ain’t a Church guy!’ I know that. I just found out about you when I got home from Mass today, and that realization hit me just now, that you passed away and we’d discussed ol’ Lazarus’ passing and resurrection.
I’m grateful to have known you the little bit of time that I did. You were an absolute blast to hang out with. As I leave y’all’s place as I say, ‘’Bye, y’all, be good! Love you!’ I am going to miss hearing your deep baritone voice say, ‘Take it easy, Cat Lady, love you, too!’ I’m also grateful that that was our parting words yesterday. ‘Be good. I hope you feel better! Love ya, man.’ ‘Take it easy, Cat Lady, love you, too!’
Don’t worry about us, brother. We’ve got the proverbial fort gonna be held down. You are already missed, fiercely. This weekend, when I go to Newark, I’ll be offering a special intention for all who know and love you. Now when I see pitties or even when I get the inks I’ve got planned, done, I’m going to think of you, because one of the first things we bonded over was our love of dogs and tattoos.
Trying to wrap my head around this whole thing is just near impossible, my friend. I know we didn’t know each other THAT long, but the hole that’s been punched in all of our hearts is a big one… It’s bigger for those who knew you best and longest, but we who only knew you for coming up on a year, we still feel that tremendous shattering event, too… I am just stunned.
When I got back, our friend told me when I walked up to her patio. I nearly fell over, I couldn’t believe what I was being told. I still can’t. I can’t believe I’m sitting here writing this to you and not seeing you face-to-face and having a laugh and a conversation with you! This isn’t fair, it isn’t okay. You’re younger than me. This isn’t how this is supposed to work, hun! As the saying goes, ‘The good die young,’ and ‘He takes those whom He loves the best.’ You are loved, and you were one of the best, gentlest, kindest people I have ever met. It was an honour to be counted as one of your family, and to be able to count you as one of mine. I don’t have many people I’m okay with being super close to me, but you, you were pretty rad. Thank you for your friendship, for the laughs, and thank you, too, for being a pretty positive force in all our lives. From now on, when I have a Southern Bun Warmer, I will think of you and I’ll tip one back for you.
Rest in peace, brother. Till we meet again, vaya con Dios.