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

1
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.

2
Sudden tears trickled down my cheek.
Followed by bawls and wails.
Streams gushed forth.

3
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.

4
I remember the pain of being hit by an emotional crater. I remember the pain of being confronted by an uncomfortable truth.

5
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.

5
Now that he is gone, I want to apologize to him.
I can’t.

6
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.

7
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.

8
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.

9
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.

10
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.

11
Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry I have no words.


In the wake of the unspeakable.

12
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.

13
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.

14
Z__, I am sorry.
I am sorry that my apology comes too late.


Now that he is gone, I want to apologize.

15
Z__, I want to know.
Do you forgive me?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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

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