Thursday, May 17, 2012
Ryan was my best friend. He's the best human friend I have ever had - apart from Dearest. We only really talked over Yahoo instant messenger, but I really felt like he knew my soul. He read everything I wrote, and I read a lot of what he wrote, almost all of his song lyrics. He was a musician, a wonderful, troubled, amazingly creative musician.
In 2009, after I had moved from Indiana to Washington, we stopped talking as much. Work, school, his girlfriend, my boyfriend, and the time difference all got in the way. We talked when we could, just not as often. In the spring of 2010, he killed himself.
Losing Ryan was like losing a piece of me. I couldn't explain it because we weren't close by normal standards, but he was so close to my heart that his death was an incredible blow. I couldn't even make it back to Indiana for the funeral. The best I could do was sit in my living room, listening to his voice in the videos on youtube, and praying he wasn't really gone. My writer's mind turned against me, playing and replaying a vividly detailed movie of what his last moments probably were, of how he killed himself. It was all I could do to not go insane.
My grief was so deep that my boyfriend at the time couldn't handle it and he broke up with me, and kicked me out. I was forced to shove my emotions, my grief and devastation, into a closet somewhere. I couldn't afford to be emotional, I had to survive.
My writing stopped altogether. It simply would not come to me. The words were not there, the stories no longer played in my mind. There was only emptiness.
It wasn't until I let myself grieve for Ryan that my writing started again. I had to open the closet door and pull everything out and just cry. I wept for Ryan and the terrible loneliness he must have felt. I wept because he had resigned himself to the very insignificance he so feared. I cried because he was my friend, my very best friend, and I had never been a good friend to him. I cried because at that point, two whole years later, I missed him so very much. I missed the silly things he said, and our long nights of word association games. I missed the way he always was there for me, the way he held me up sometimes when I needed it most. I missed him more than I knew how to say and two years after he died I finally let myself cry for him again, until the missing didn't hurt as much as it used to.
That's when my writing started again. It was just a trickle, an idea here or there, a dialog, small bits and pieces I couldn't actually use. It's still not flowing the way I want it to, but it's starting. It's there again, I can reach it, and I'm glad.
I still miss Ryan. I miss everything about him. When he died, it felt like part of me died with him. Now I know that's not true. I didn't die with Ryan, I just took too long trying not to grieve. I'm done grieving now, and I can move on; I know that's how he would want it anyway.
Ryan was my very best friend, so close to my heart that when I lost him I also lost my writing for a little while. I will always remember him, I will probably always miss him. I hope he found the peace he searched for.