On Death and Sleep

I found out three days ago through a Facebook email that a childhood friend had died. The person who died was a guy I hadn't seen in thirty years (I'm forty). His death unexpectedly hit me harder than anyone's death has (including my grandmothers'--whom I took care of--last year) since my mom died eleven years ago.  I was floored by his death, and not just because he was only thirty-six and had kids.

He was best friends with my brother when we were kids, and I was best friends with his sister. Like a lot of neighborhoods in the 70s, us kids were allowed to run around all day going from house to house and came home when the street lights came on.

I felt terrible having to call my brother and tell him about his friend dying, even though he hadn't talked to him in years. We still always considered the kids on that street our friends even if we hadn't spoken in years. He was crushed and felt terrible that he hadn't called him when I had given him his number, after finding his sisters on Facebook. It was just one of those "I'll call him soon" things.

I haven't slept much in the past three nights and his death was pretty much all I've thought about. I found out my brother's felt the same way. I couldn't figure out why this was hitting us so hard. We finally came to the conclusion that, in our minds, our years living there were perfect. We lived in this neighborhood from when I was three up until I was ten, when my parents suddenly split up and we moved. That time was the best time of our lives. Our parents were together, we had tons of friends and life was all-around great for us. Life changed drasitcally for us after that. But in our minds, those years on Sterling Street were wonderful for us. But when our friend died, it shattered a bit of our perfect world we hold so dearly.

I was a bit of a wreck going to the calling hours tonight. My husband came, as did my brother and his wife. I was afraid of seeing old neighbors and kids (now adults like me) and having that change my perception of my childhood. It ended up being very sad to see our friend who died and all of the pictures of him and his family.

But it was truly wonderful to see our old friends and neighbors. Most of them remembered us, some didn't. We talked about old times and laughed about stupid things we did. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me tonight. I'm praying hard for his family tonight, and that they can somehow feel peace.

I only wish it was a reunion that had brought us together and not the death of one of us.

RIP Mike. I will always remember you and how much fun we had as kids.
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Tuesday

On Death and Sleep

I found out three days ago through a Facebook email that a childhood friend had died. The person who died was a guy I hadn't seen in thirty years (I'm forty). His death unexpectedly hit me harder than anyone's death has (including my grandmothers'--whom I took care of--last year) since my mom died eleven years ago.  I was floored by his death, and not just because he was only thirty-six and had kids.

He was best friends with my brother when we were kids, and I was best friends with his sister. Like a lot of neighborhoods in the 70s, us kids were allowed to run around all day going from house to house and came home when the street lights came on.

I felt terrible having to call my brother and tell him about his friend dying, even though he hadn't talked to him in years. We still always considered the kids on that street our friends even if we hadn't spoken in years. He was crushed and felt terrible that he hadn't called him when I had given him his number, after finding his sisters on Facebook. It was just one of those "I'll call him soon" things.

I haven't slept much in the past three nights and his death was pretty much all I've thought about. I found out my brother's felt the same way. I couldn't figure out why this was hitting us so hard. We finally came to the conclusion that, in our minds, our years living there were perfect. We lived in this neighborhood from when I was three up until I was ten, when my parents suddenly split up and we moved. That time was the best time of our lives. Our parents were together, we had tons of friends and life was all-around great for us. Life changed drasitcally for us after that. But in our minds, those years on Sterling Street were wonderful for us. But when our friend died, it shattered a bit of our perfect world we hold so dearly.

I was a bit of a wreck going to the calling hours tonight. My husband came, as did my brother and his wife. I was afraid of seeing old neighbors and kids (now adults like me) and having that change my perception of my childhood. It ended up being very sad to see our friend who died and all of the pictures of him and his family.

But it was truly wonderful to see our old friends and neighbors. Most of them remembered us, some didn't. We talked about old times and laughed about stupid things we did. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me tonight. I'm praying hard for his family tonight, and that they can somehow feel peace.

I only wish it was a reunion that had brought us together and not the death of one of us.

RIP Mike. I will always remember you and how much fun we had as kids.
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