My friend Chris took his own life Wednesday.
The last time we spoke was about two months ago, when we made some early plans for him to come to Italy this autumn. It's presumptuous and arrogant to assume that maybe if I had said or done something different, then he'd still be around. But I can't help but think that if I boarded a plane to Utah right now, he'd greet me at the airport with a big smile and a bear hug.
I'll never forget the spontaneous weekend in San Francisco, where I first got to know him as we celebrated his 27th birthday. Or the trips to hockey and basketball games. Or the time we painted Doug's house. Or the Gwen concert where we danced like crazy people.
His 30th birthday would have been next Wednesday.
There's really no way to express the grief I'm feeling right now, as it's not something I ever thought I'd experience. I doubt anyone could believe someone so cool and amazing would take such drastic measures, no matter how bad things seem. Perhaps he thought nobody was on his side, or that he had run out of choices in life. Maybe he never found the love and acceptance he wanted or deserved. We'll never understand or make sense of it, but we'll pray he's at peace.
I'll miss you, Chris, my dear friend.