I Couldn't Let Go of the Memory This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 9, 2011
By
May 16, 1:25 p.m. History Class.
I'm supposed to be some sort of writer, so why can't I say anything now? We all know that life isn't fair. We all know about death and that we must deal with it. Nobody knows why now, but I'm expecting the worst. Somehow I know he took his own life. If I'm wrong I'll throw this away but nothing, no reason or cause will change anything. If he had said something, anything at all, I would have been his best friend. But all I ever gave him were brief conversations, in homeroom or the hall, or a “Hi” while he was passing. I liked him. I'm not saying that because he's gone, I did. He was smart, laughed at my jokes, we had things in common. But no one could find enough time to keep him here. I wonder if there was enough time in the world to do that. Maybe this will change the way people act and feel; it takes a tragedy like this to ameliorate what is wrong. Nobody could tell he was depressed; he hid it too well. Nonetheless, somewhere else, at any given time, someone will be made fun of. Geek, loser, faggot; it's real hilarious now. I'm not perfect, I've done it before. For some reason there are people in this world so insecure they look to those less fortunate and vent their frustration on them. I've been the victim of plenty of criticism. You need a thick skin to get through the hellish roller coaster. He didn't have one and now we all feel empty. The saddest part is that he had friends, family and teachers who were there for him, but he refused to believe it. Matt was not a major part of most of our lives but he's affected mine forever. My own problems keep piling up, but when something like this happens the problems all seem meaningless. I could say I feel very lucky, but the tears never lie.

May 19, 3:45 p.m. The Wake.
I never liked wakes. I know it's not something to look forward to but they hurt. It still didn't hit me, even when I saw him lying there in the casket. It made no sense. Luckily I was there with friends who felt the same way. I just can't rationalize why. He was brilliant. When Matt applied himself, he was amazing. As I sat there, I remembered too many things he did and though minor, they brought me to tears. He could break into the FBI computer if he had the time; he was a hacker extraordinaire. He never got caught. He would tell me he used names of authors of books he had in his room as aliases. He had a sick sense of humor. There is no reason this had to happen. I still can't believe he's gone.

May 20, 10:00 p.m. The Funeral.
This was the icing on the cake of despair. The pain of crying with all your friends is too much to bear. The entire service, I kept praying, asking why. I asked myself. I asked others. Why God? Why Matt? Why now? Why us? Why? I prayed for an answer. He's at peace, but he's the only one. No one can come to grips with this bitter taste of reality. I couldn't let go of a hug. I couldn't let go of the tears. I couldn't let go of the memory. Why? Too many tears, too much pain. Why?

Saturday morning, 8:30 a.m.
I write this article. I've turned to Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" and "Skyline Pigeon" to help. Why am I arrogant enough to tell anyone who reads this how I feel? For myself, this is mourning. The crying is enough for some. Elton's saying, “Fly away ... toward the things you left so very far behind."

I had to say something. Suicide is the cry for help that can be heard by all, but never made better. Tragedies are not sugarcoated tastes of life; they are unsympathetic lessons that hit hard and leave their mark. This one hit too many of us, but we will pick up the pieces. Even the family, who is going through hell, will eventually pick up the pieces.

No matter how despondent you feel, how utterly useless, like there's no reason to go on, you can always pick up the pieces. Matt, you never showed that sorrow, that pain, that uselessness, though it was there; there's always a way out. There's a way out of every problem life throws at us. One must remain strong and find that answer; find that reason to keep going.

There are so many wonderful things in life, but they aren't handed to you on a silver platter. A talent, a passion; everywhere we look there is reason to persevere. My passions are music and writing. I'll never amount to anything in either, but they are two of my reasons. I had to look for them and when they came, it was a spiritual rebirth. Some can't find reason, but it is there. For everything there is reason, justice and worth. How can you know there is reason? Live, and you will learn, learn and you will grow. Through that growth you will love, then you will know.

The song repeated the line, "Love lies bleeding in my hand." Let's pick up the pieces, let's stop the bleeding. Make sure this never happens again. We can't do the latter, but there is too much to live for not to try.

For those despondent souls out there who feel there is no reason to go on living, think again. To find that reason may take days or a lifetime. But the greatest tragedy is to end that search, that journey. Even if that reason cannot be found, know that the search is as great as the discovery. Life is a roller coaster and to give up and scream for the attendant to stop the ride so you can get off is a crime. Stay positive, hold on tight and you'll leave with a smile on your face.

I'll miss you, man. I'm sure that heaven has some system that you can crack into.

There's surely some re-runs of “Star Trek” up there too. We'll always be here for you, even when you're gone.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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