Over my spring break while Adam and I were in Phillips, I received some terrible news. I came upstairs at my parent’s house after a short run on my mom’s treadmill. Adam came up to me, gently put his hand on my arm and said, “I need to talk to you about something.” I sensed urgency in his voice and immediately knew something was terribly wrong. He led me to the couch and sat me down. He received a call that our friend, Richard, was killed in a car accident.
I felt a lump in my throat and my stomach knotted. I think I just blanked out for a few seconds… or minutes… I don’t even know. So many things went through my head in such a short amount of time. As tears built up in my eyes, my thoughts started to jump all over the place. “What about this, and what about that… and… Meryl… ohmygosh, Meryl… and 4imprint… and legos… and friends… and how? Why? Is this for real? No… noooo…”
For the past few days I’ve thought a LOT about Richard and Meryl. Our mutual friends, work, and in all the places where he will be remembered and missed. The world will miss such an incredibly intelligent, fun-loving guy.
What to say… I just don’t know. So I’m using this grieving tactic – a letter. Sometimes you don’t get a chance to say good-bye, so I guess… I hope you are able to read this, my friend.
You left us all too soon, my friend, and we already miss you more than we can even put into words. It still doesn’t feel real most of the time. It’s almost like I’m going to head home, meet up with you and Meryl and our group for happy hour and you’re going to tell us all about the accident. We’re going to hug and smile and be glad we still have each other. I think I’m stuck in this strange half-reality. Like the accident happened, but you’re still with us. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been out of town and unable to see anyone or what. When it comes down to it, I sadly know it’s real, as much as I want to wish it all a horrible dream. I wake up each morning thinking about Meryl and wondering how she’s doing, your family, 4imprint, our shared friends, and you.
There are places in my life that will never again be the same without you. Any time I see a Lego, I will remember you. Whenever I play Pictionary, I’ll warm up my drawing skills like you always have. Any time I’m kayaking, tubing or playing shuffleboard, I’ll remember the fun times I had when I shared those times with you.
I always enjoyed your playful personality, and appreciated your sense of adventure and immediate willingness to go along with sometimes crazy ideas. “Hey! Let’s drag our kayaks a mile through the woods so we can paddle this class IV rapids!” or “I know! Let’s ride this air mattress down the river!” (I do believe that one was your idea.) Yeah… I’m going to miss you – especially those times. What I will miss most about you is the sibling-like friendship we had and your genuine, contagious laugh. Your spirit is irreplaceable and unforgettable.
My friend, we all love you, we all miss you, and I know you’ll be watching over us all. We will all do our best to help your love and our friend, Meryl, through her grief and be there for her. For her, and for you.
When we meet again, Richard, maybe I’ll finally let ya’ win at a game of shuffle board (and yeah, I know… you win most of the time). Oh, and the Sambuca’s on me.
Miss you, buddy.
Tonight I love the people in my life. All of them. You can’t ever say “I love you” too much. Say it as much as you’re able because so much can change so fast.
I love you.