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I am sorry for your loss; I am sorry for my loss

I found out that he died from Facebook.
I remember those initial moments of confusion, when I reread the post. “What? Impossible. What happened? He wasn’t sick!”
I remember the shock, when I realized what he had done, that he was cut short — in the midst of life.
I remember the confusion, not understanding what he had done, not understanding where he had gone, not understanding that he was no longer.
I remember beginning to understand — that the demons had seduced him, imprisoned him. That he had not escaped.

Sudden tears trickled down my cheek.
Followed by bawls and wails.
Streams gushed forth.

In the months after, I remember looking at our correspondences over the last years, as if I was a detective trying to solve a case.
Text message holiday greetings and lunch back-and-forth exchanges were clues.
The case remains unsolved.

I remember the pain of being hit by an emotional crater. I remember the pain of being confronted by an uncomfortable truth.

I remember writing poems and more poems ad infinitum.
I remember that I ventured into a pit, at times.
I remember moments that felt like the heart of darkness,
The essence of despair.

Now that he is gone, I want to apologize to him.
I can’t.

This is what I would have said:
Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry for your loss.

I am sorry for the pain you felt.
I am sorry you could not be honest with me.
I am sorry you are not with us today.
I am sorry I was not here for you when you needed me.

I am sorry for all I did and I am sorry for all I didn’t do.
I am sorry for all I didn’t see, all I didn’t know to see, all I didn’t want to see.

Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry I was not listening closely enough to hear your cries for help.
I am sorry I expected cries for help to be easy to make out.
I am sorry I did not help you navigate your pain.
I am sorry I barely noticed the pain you were in.
I am sorry I did not know how to have a suicidal friend.
Z__, I am sorry.

I wish I could have shaken you and told you that things would have gotten better.
(I think that things would have gotten better.)
I do not know if that would have helped, in any way.

I was busy.
I was moving to a new place.
I was applying to another position.
I was dating someone else.

I was living my life.

Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry I have no words.

In the wake of the unspeakable.

Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry for your loss.
I am not sorry if reflections on suicide are cliché.
I am not sorry if this is morose.
I am not sorry that I dread this, that I do not want to face your ghost.

I am sorry you felt your life did not matter.
I am sorry that, sometimes, I am numb.

I am sorry I do not know how to honor your memory.

Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry for your loss.
I miss you.
I am sorry for my loss.

Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry that my apology comes too late.

Now that he is gone, I want to apologize.

Z__, I want to know.
Do you forgive me?

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