Friday, March 8, 2013

What You'll Never Know

You thought you were alone. You were going through things that I didn't know about, and that you thought I wouldn't understand. 
You thought this way would be better. 
I didn't know things were this bad. I didn't know you'd gone through something so hard, you vowed never to go through anything like that ever again. So you took your own life.
And now I don't know why.
But I do know, that you'll never know the look on my face when I found out you were gone. How I sat down on the closest flat service, staring at the text on my screen, and wondering if those words were true.
What you didn't know, is how my face crumpled. How the sobs emerged from some secret solace inside my chest. How they shook me until I fell to the floor, on my knees, begging God to tell me, "Is this true? Why is it true? Please, God, don't let this be true!"
You'll never see how I sat there, staring into the space where I could imagine your spirit standing, and how I yearned to see you again. How I tried to hear you. How I imagined that I could.
You'll never know how the thoughts swept through my mind of the last time we were together--of how you told me a silly joke about a duck that made me roll my eyes. How you told me you were mature, and tried to prove it by telling me you were in charge. How I laughed, and left the room with full confidence in your abilities  How I looked over my shoulder with a grin, and thought, "One day he'll be teaching here, and all the kids will love him."
You showed no signs that you were hurting. That you were giving up. You didn't tell me anything. And because I never knew, now you'll never know...
You'll never know how I stumbled into the nearest restroom, and looked at my own face, and asked myself, "How could this have happened?"
You'll never see how I tried to pull myself together. How I tried to be strong, and left the restroom, only to see places you once stood, touched the jacket you once wore, and remembered that you were never coming back.
And you'll never know how I leaned against the wall, and sank to the floor, hugging my knees, sobbing there alone in the semi-darkness, wondering what I could have done to have saved you. Wondering why you didn't ask me for help.
You'll never know how badly I wanted this to be a joke. How I wanted to throttle you myself for telling such a stupid joke. For you even needing to think that you had to pull a prank like this to get some attention. You'll never know how I would have pulled you close, called you a moron, and then told you how much I love you, and how I don't want you to joke about things like that any more. You'll never know.
You'll never know how the only way I found strength was by telling myself you would never do a thing like this. Telling myself that you were stronger than this. Telling myself that you knew things would get better, and that you were better than this.
And you'll never know how, when the phone call came, my hope was shattered. And how I tried to be strong, but how thick my voice was when I spoke, I could hardly even recognize myself.
You'll never know how much I loved your smile. You'll never know how many times you made everything okay for me, with your witty jokes, and you're silly pranks. You'll never know.
And you'll never see how I got in my car, and drove to my friends who had just learned that you were gone. You didn't see how I ran across the parking lot to hug them tight and close. To make sure they were okay. To make sure they knew they were loved. You'll never see how we huddled together in our jackets, shivering on the sidewalk on a cold day in March. How we stood in a circle, all looking at our toes, automatically leaving a space open where you should have been standing.
You'll never know how I had to keep my eyes on the ground to avoid staring at that space, to stop myself from crying because I knew that was a space that would never be filled.
And you'll never know how I weep when I'm alone in the car, listening to the radio, and a song comes on that reminds me of you. You'll never know how I kept asking myself why you never told me. Why you thought I didn't need to know. Why you didn't let any of us help you.
You'll never know how after walking a dozen yards, I sat alone on a bench, just to catch my breath because my stomach tied itself in knots so tight, I felt like throwing up. How I couldn't eat. How I couldn't focus. How the only thing that would make it better would be to see you again. To have you laughing, and smiling.
You won't ever know how, driving back to my apartment, I remembered your voice, and sobbed because I realized that before long, I won't be able to remember it anymore. And maybe, I won't be able to remember you either. You don't know how badly that terrified me.
You don't know how much I miss you.
You didn't see as I went to the store, searching for a reminder of you. Something I could add to my charm bracelet so that I would never forget. I picked a paper airplane, because it reminds me of how obnoxious you were. It reminds me of how how after a bad day at school, your stupid jokes made me laugh so hard that sometimes, I couldn't breathe.
And now I can't breathe, but for an entirely different reason.
But you'll never know.
You thought I'd never know what you were going through. And now that you're gone, I never will. In return, you'll never know how much you mean to me.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, I beg you to keep going! It may seem like you're forgotten, unappreciated  or alone. But you aren't! Somewhere out there, there are people who feel just like you. They need you to tell them to keep going. Somewhere out there, there are people who love you, and they want to help! But if we never know what you're going through, you'll never know how much we care.

"Cherish your esteemed place in the sight of god. HE NEEDS YOU. This church needs you. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU. [Your] abiding trust in God and unfailing devotion to things of the Spirit have always been an anchor when the wind and the waves of life were fiercest." 
~ Jeffery R. Holland

Tell someone today how much you care. Tell someone today if you're struggling. Because otherwise, we may never know.


  1. I don't know why, because I don't remember ever meeting him, but every time I think about what has just happened I find myself crying along with you all. It's so terribly sad that someone like that felt the need to end his life. That's sad enough, but the fact that it has caused you all so much pain as well, causes me pain too. The ripple effect. You never know what a smile might do, not only to those in direct contact with you, but those whom you will never meet. The same goes for causing pain, to yourself or those around you, you never know whom it will effect. I feel so badly for you and all those who have been effected by all this. I can only say I hope that you will hold tighter to each other and learn to strengthen each other more to heal from this hurt.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We're all clinging to each other.