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I lost my best friend in 2008, and somehow I'm not over it


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I don't know how long I want to make this story.

I met Thomas when we were 4 (me) and 6 (he). Due to a misunderstanding we ended up fighting (Read 'I attacked him') and we had to wait for the principal to punish us. Waiting there it became clear he didn't mean badly and he even took the blame for upsetting me when we were called in. From there our friendship developed. 

Skip forward a few years, and we're young teens with a small group of friends, hanging on his attic. By this time I've befriended Leanna, his sister, who is my age. I'm smitten with her, and at some point we even fight over the fact that I'm crushing on his sister. We get over it regardless. She's a dancer, and severely underweight. She asks me advice to not be disqualified at the weigh-in due to being underweight. Struggling with my own eating disorder I answer truthfully that drinking tons of water adds temporary water weight. It doesn't help, in fact, she dies from water poisoning because her heart can't handle it. Our group of friends is tormented, and my relationship with Thomas becomes weird, and loaded. 


Skip forward a few years, and he takes off to study in Japan. Which he does, for a bit over a year. Then he returns for some hiatus. He has lost loads of weight and his demeanor has become apathetic. I pick him up from the airport, we spend the evenings playing chess in his apartment. I try desperately to connect in a normal way, yet everything feels weird and off. By the end of that week, it gets to an argument. I can't even remember what was said, but it wasn't good. He kept being defeatist, I get fed up with it. I scream at him that if he wants to be dead that badly there's no point in my hanging around. 

The next day he messages me for a final chess match. At this point, I'm not sure if he means the decisive match to see who wins overall (like a best out of 5, we've done that before) or in a "we're not friends anymore after this one" way.

However, I can't rationalise why, but it alerted me and made me all sorts of uneasy. I tell my teacher I'm unwell, and leave. 

This is the part I find the hardest to put into words. I get there, and all I hear is music playing from his top floor apartment. I get there and use my key to get in, after having rang the bell thrice. The apartment is covered in papers, the furniture is tipped over in half of the room and the place reeks of alcohol. I find Thomas covered in his own blood and unconscious. I can't for the life of me string together in a chronological order the events that follow. According to doctors I've seen in the past it's a mental flight response due to emotional shock. I know rationally and empirically I called an ambulance and joined them. I know someone informed me he died. I know from a doctor's report that my response was one consistent with shock. 

I know I feel guilty to this day, because his letter told me I was the detriment here. And I don't know how to place that. I've got the hardest time being friends with people now, and the holidays keep hitting hard. I guess I just wanted to type that out, even if it's weird or incoherent or more prosaic in recounting it. I have so many mixed feelings. I've gone from complete guilt to anger that he basically invited me as an ultimate "see what you did to me".

His parents' response was that his death was God tormenting them for his being gay. I hate them with a passion. They lost 2 kids, and somehow managed to see it as some test from God rather than look into why their kids felt the way they did. Rationally, I realise that his death has a lot to do with the homophobia at home.

But I'm also still very convinced I am toxic and caused my friends to perish, even if I didn't mean to.

This is the most recent picture I have, and the only one I kept. His flatmate in Japan took it on a walk.


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Dear Tzyarles,

You're very brave to share your story. It is hard to lose a friend at so young an age. I know it's very hard and dealing with the aftermath of losing a friend in such a traumatic way is not an easy thing to come to terms with. They say there is no fixed timeline to grief and some feelings will always stay with us. 

I too want to go back in time and change what I said and I did. I have the belief that I could have saved my dad. It's not uncommon that even after so many years it still weighs on the mind. 

I read this blog that helped me a little.


I can tell how much you cared and just wanted him to be happy. But I think his demons were too great and he made that final choice. Please don't take that on. Honor him the best you can but living your life well.

Thinking of you.



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