My friend died.
Not just my friend, my teammate, a person I counted as family – but the family you choose, not the one you’re stuck with cuz of birth.
I spend more time with my sports team than I do with any other people. I train with them, compete with them, socialize with them, chat with at least some of them daily. They don’t know about my struggles with food, and I may not go to them when I have problems, but that is on me not them, choosing to keep certain parts of my life separate from them is because that is how I am made, not because they wouldn’t accept me.
He died in an accident while on vacation.
I can’t get his face out of my head. I keep seeing him smiling, joking, doing these goofy push ups that he does…did. fuck. I have trouble speaking of him in the past tense.
It just doesn’t seem real. I keep hoping someone will say there was a mistake, he was confused with someone else and is actually fine.
At the same time I keep getting over whelmed with thoughts that one of his family members had to pack up his stuff in the hotel, and make arrangements to get him back home, and give notice to his landlord, and he shares a business with his long-term girlfriend, what’s gonna happen there? His dying affects so many people in so many ways, the hole where he is supposed to be hurts so many.
This past summer he was in my suv when the team was car pooling to an away festival. He brought a ridiculous amount of fresh fruit and kept feeding me while I was driving (not actually putting food in my mouth but just making sure I kept taking some), I ate almost the entire ride, it was crazy. He insisted I keep eating the fruit because it was important for the driver to stay nourished. lol. He was odd like that. And he always wore this hat, blue baseball cap style, but it has this piece of fabric that comes down from the hat to cover the ears and neck, he got it on one of his previous trips to Hawaii. It is a goofy hat, but he had a great smile and he didn’t care that his hat looked goofy, just that he had sun protection, so he’d wear it with flair. And he wore the same jacket for practices and during crap weather on race weekends for years, this blue and yellow water/wind resistant jacket. It was horrible, but so him.
He was full of life, and so nice, not just friendly but honest to goodness nice. He’d help out anybody with their technique, but not in a jerk way, just in a helpful way. He was all about the team, and what was best for it. He was easy going, and had a great smile, and was generous, and sporty, and up for a challenge, and loved to live life.
I hate the idea that his last moments on earth might have been filled with fear, or pain, or confusion, or despair. If ever a person deserved to live to a ripe old age and die peacefully in their sleep, it was him.
I don’t know the circumstances of the accident, none of us do, the family is keeping that quiet and we are respecting their privacy. I don’t know if I want to know, I want to pretend he died in some non horrific way, but a snorkeling accident doesn’t make that likely.
I’m going to miss him. I’ve been crying since I found out last night. I basically alternate between crying and sleeping so I can escape the pain.
The team is getting together Tuesday for dinner at a restaurant he loved so we can all be together. I don’t know how to share my pain, how to not hermit when something horrible happens, so I’ll have to figure out how to maintain my composure by then. For now though, I’m going to go cry some more, because he is now a person I write about and talk about in the past tense, and that is just not ok.