A Light Extinguished

18 Jan

When Mike and I met, I fell in love with Mike and with his best friend Elree. Elree would give you the shirt off his back. He was a great friend to Mike, and to me. Whether we were hanging out at his house playing Uno, doing laps at the rollerskating rink, visiting a local bar, or even spending time with my family (Elree fit right in– he and my brother look so much alike that Facebook can’t tell the difference in pictures), Elree was a bright light in our lives. When Michaela was born, we drifted apart a bit, but would periodically exchange text messages and well wishes. That’s why I was devastated to get a call yesterday morning from his girlfriend, who said Elree committed suicide this weekend.

I don’t know what happened that made him take his life. I don’t know if he had gotten help and it wasn’t enough. I don’t know why he didn’t see that he was loved and special and needed. I only know I miss my friend and can’t believe I’ll never see him again. I’ll never send him a text on August 8 to wish him a happy birthday. I’ll never mail him a Christmas card. I’ll never invite him to another Easter dinner.

In December, for Mike’s birthday, I asked friends to share a favorite Mike memory. Elree wrote a beautiful piece that ended with, “I remember some really great times my friend. I hope this note helps you remember great days, too.”

Here’s to memories of great days, and to Elree.

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