Loss of friend to suicide
Bob* was one of my best friends and was like a big brother to me. When we first became close, he was abusing substances, and I was starting to get involved with them too. Even though he was much worse off than I was, he made it his duty to make sure that I was okay, and I was being smart about my decisions.
He got sent away to a rehab facility and boarding school later on in our friendship but would email me often, telling me how much he loves me and how he is here for me and wants to be there through every struggle and every happy experience of my life. He told me that when he got sent away, he realized which friends were really there and really mattered and that I was among them. He told me he wanted to keep me close for that reason and really went out of his way to show me that he cared.
This was four years ago. We shared two years of a strong friendship after this experience and saw each other often. Since then, I have been away at college for two years, and I must admit that I lost sight of how close we truly were. I feel horrible because I never quite gave him the credit he deserved for being an amazing friend.
While at school, he would contact me every so often, asking if I was okay. He would read into my Facebook statuses and message me, asking what was going on. While at home on breaks, I would usually make an effort to see him. We would meet up and catch up a bit, attempting to rekindle the strong friendship we once had.
This past semester at school, I came across all of the old emails from when he was away at boarding school. I realized just how close we once were and called him to tell him about it. He asked me to send him the emails because he said he no longer had access to them. I knew at that point that I wanted to keep him as a close friend and realized how strong our relationship could be.
When I returned from college, at the beginning of this summer, I saw him often. He told me about himself/his life, making it seem as though he really had it together, but I knew he was having drinking problems. He would call me while drunk in the middle of the night to talk and would tell me he drank an insane amount of alcohol. He would claim he was drinking in a social environment, but most of the time I got the feeling that he really drank alone.
I sometimes tried to ask him about his behavior, but he would come up with excuses or be very short about it. I am usually the type of friend that people go to for help. I really care, and I am usually proud of how much I show it. In my relationship with Bob, however, I let him be the big brother. It felt like he wanted it that way so I let it be that way. This is something I really struggle with now. I wish more than anything that I would have pried a little bit and tried to be there more for my friend. I just had no clue how much he was struggling.
One night a few weeks ago, he invited me over to party. I questioned it because it was a week night (he told me he only drank on weekends), but he gave an excuse and acted as though he just wanted me to shut up about it. I told him I couldn’t come because of a family situation, and he seemed to understand.
Later that night, he committed suicide. I found out that no one had shown up to the party that night. My suspicions were confirmed that he most likely had been drinking alone most nights. His counselor spoke at the funeral, telling us that he suffered an inability to interpret relationships that caused him to feel very alone.
Sometimes, I wish I was able to go over to his house that night or had invited him to mine. I sometimes feel like I could have stopped it, but I realize that I might not have. And even if I did, I might have just prolonged his suffering. The hardest parts about his death, though, are the reality that I wasn’t there for him as much as I could have been and the fact that I lost sight of our amazing friendship. I lost the ONLY friend who has ever really looked out for me, who I knew would always be there for me rather than the other way around, so selfishly, that part is hard.
It is also hard to accept that he was struggling so much and kept it all to himself. He was an amazing person and a good friend to everyone and definitely did not deserve that. Accepting that he is truly gone is difficult, too. We had some really good times, and I'll really miss him like crazy.