I’ve been feeling really sad for the past few days, and chose not to do any posting when I was feeling that way. I know that friends are there to help when we’re struggling with something, and I appreciate that, believe me. But I sometimes do much better when I just disappear into my own head for a while and do the initial sorting out on my own. Eventually I surface when I’m ready to talk, though, so don’t ever think that I’m going to disappear forever!
One of Stephanie’s friends from high school died a week or so ago. A wonderful young man has left this earth, and his parents have lost their only child. It’s a sad enough story in itself, but it seems to have brought one of my greatest, hidden fears to the surface over the past couple of days. I can’t even begin to imagine what his parents are feeling right now, but we came so close to being in their shoes, and the mere thought of it still makes me shake like a leaf and want to throw up. I hadn’t thought about it in quite some time because we know why it happened, and it’s pretty unlikely that it will ever happen again. She doesn’t actually have a death wish, thank God. Rather, the dark thoughts were the result of an unusual adverse reaction to a new medication, and she found the strength to pull back from the edge on her own and reach out for help before the cliff edge came closer again. But the sickening fear that came with that scare leaves a mark on the core of a mother’s being that never quite goes away.
All young people are special and it’s incredibly sad when any one of them has their life cut short for any reason. But this lad was so unusual in the way that he had a lasting impact on anyone who met him. I only had one proper conversation with him and only saw him briefly a few times after that, but he left a permanent imprint on my heart and mind. As he did with Stephanie and his other friends. He was a big, strapping lad for his age, but such a gentle soul. Big-hearted, compassionate, and a true gentleman through and through, even at such a young age.
Even though I spent so little time with him, I feel a true sense of loss knowing that he’s gone. He had a job counselling troubled youths. His friends loved him to bits, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one whose life was made better by just a few brief encounters. The memory of our one lengthy chat has always made me smile, and always will.
Sam, you are missed by many. A quote from “Hamlet” would probably make you roll your eyes, but it popped into my head as soon as I heard the news, and it’s the most fitting farewell that I can think of for you.
“Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”
I’ll never forget you, young man.