To My Friend

Dear Ryan,

I was driving last night, and it took me past where you are buried. It made me think of your laugh, and your smile, and everything about you that I thought so highly of and miss so much. I have thought about you countless times in the last three years.

I was driving and laughing, remembering our last conversation, and how you made sure to point out to me that my tummy was already getting big, even though I was just a few months pregnant (thanks a lot, jackass.) I was walking you to the door as you were leaving work for the day, so that we could keep talking, and I am endlessly grateful for those few extra minutes. You left and walked to your car, the one you had saved for and were in the midst of fixing up, and it was the last time I saw you.

So many times I have wanted to call you, or text…just talk to you. I saw your dad a little over a year ago, and I told him how much I missed you, and that your friends all miss you, and that I think about you all the time. I hope it helped him in some way. I can’t imagine losing a child.

I am more than familiar with grieving, but grieving for you is different. I always end up smiling. I haven’t known many people who would so easily and kindly tell me that I would worry too much, or that I stressed things that didn’t matter, or that I was just plain wrong sometimes. You were humble, and vivacious, and funny as hell. I was always honored that you wanted to learn from me, but you taught me so much, and what you taught mattered so much more. You looked at life differently than most, and owned your mistakes, and were forgiving and empathetic. You were a lot to lose.

Thank you, Ryan, for my memories of you. Thank you for still making me smile and laugh so many years later. Thank you for being my friend. I miss you here, but I know you are lighting up Heaven the same way you lit up this world.


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