I Never Thought It Would End Like That
When I was very young I met my first, and probably still my best friend, Matthew. Matt was special, he had a lot of health issues but he never let that stop him, ever. He kept this sweet, sweet smile on his face. Despite what fate had dealt him he loved life itself and everyone around him. When we were still little kids he moved away, I never saw him again. Do I regret not realizing that it would be my last chance EVER to play with him? Yes! But I didn't know... How could I? We were both very very young...the idea that before we would ever play together again one of us would be dead seemed just crazy.
A couple of years later when I was 9 years old and he was 7, I was helping my mom set the dinner table when the phone rang. It was his mother. I stopped short, instantly hyper aware of the conversation. They sent e-mails and Christmas cards, but she never called unless there was some kind of crisis. It had been that way since they moved. I was frozen with overwhelming fear and time seemed to slow down. Each remaining moment before my mom hung up ticked by like an hour.
Finally she told me that Matt was in the hospital again and that she was going. I put on my shoes right away but she said I wasn't going. That brings us to my 2nd regret, that I lacked the guts to jump in that car anyway. But I didn't so I was left home with my dad with nothing to do but wait.
Eventually but I'm not sure what time, my mom called home...the naive little girl in me dared for a moment to think that she would tell us that everything was alright again and that she was coming home. The reality was worse than I could have imagined...he was Brain-Dead! Even my thoughts were silenced by horror, I ran for my room so I could cry and cry and be completely alone. I was truly paralyzed by grief. I couldn't move or fall asleep...all I could do was lay there on my bed and pray to God for a miracle while silent tears streamed down my face. When morning came and it was confirmed that he had no chance or returning to us he was taken off of life-support.
To say that the weeks and months that followed weren't easy is a vast understatement. To say that my parents understood is being overly generous. It felt honestly like part of my soul had been stripped away. But through the companionship of my other best friend and the distraction of a new school year life returned to a state of normal and kept on going. I learned to avoid certain reminders of that horrible August weekend in 2003 because a fourth-grader does not burst out crying in the middle of class without being tagged as a target. Despite my anger at God for ignoring my desperate prayers that night it is in him that I found my strength again.
I have never had closure which might explain why I still grieve for him 7 years later but Matt is in heaven. All his pain is over and one day I will see him again. There are days where it still seems like the sunlight left with him and isn't coming back but after all this time there's light on the horizon. You never get over them but you learn to pick up the pieces and go on without them.
"I was sure by now, God you would have reached down, and wiped my tears away, stepped in and saved the day, but once again, I say Amen, and it's still raining. But I remember when you heard my cries and raised me up again." - Casting Crowns
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