Day 3 and my heart remains heavy. Every time I stop to think about Hugh – which is often – I feel as though someone is stepping on my chest. But what is strange is that I have come to appreciate the feeling because it is a confirmation of how deeply I love him.
I am struck by how lucky I am. I am 40 years old and I have never lost a friend until now. Family, yes. Family of friends, yes. When my best friend’s mother passed two years ago it felt like losing a member of my own family because she had taken me into her home and made me feel like a second son. But a friend is different. Hugh was in my life solely because I wanted him to be. He owed me no loyalty nor I him. We chose to be friends for reasons that were entirely personal, even if they were unspoken. I feel his loss immensely, not because of what he was, but because of *who* he was.
For the last 48 hours or so I have essentially been only three places: at work, at home asleep, or with some combination of friends. The last two nights ran extremely late, but they were totally worth the next day’s exhaustion. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to those who have spent time with me these last few days, sharing our remembrances of our fallen friend and the endless laughter he has brought us. I can’t wait to see more of you over the next few days, despite the circumstances. And let me add, thank heaven for the healing power of Facebook. To some, social media has become the bane of the modern existence; stifling our ability to interact as real people. I get that. Like you, I roll my eyes at some of the political grandstanding that takes place, and yes, I think I’m good with cute baby, puppy, and kitten pictures for at least a couple of years. But without the ability to come here these past couple of days while I have been stuck in my office vainly attempting to accomplish something, I fear I would have imploded. This virtual universe may feel rather impersonal at times, but it beats the hell out of feeling isolated and alone. Thank you for helping me heal.