Friday, February 20, 2009

her people

this is a blog almost no one who knows me knows i have. this seems like a good place to put this because it has to go somewhere.

last night, my good friend's son killed himself.

through a strange course of events, a plan actually, one that God has had in the works since at least october, i ended up at the local coffee shop last night much later than i ever have. i know just about everyone who goes there on a regular basis, but more importantly, i know one of the owners, who knows everyone who goes there. and everyone who doesn't. the owner also employs a relative of my friend, which is how he knew.

the owner asked me something about my friend. what? i remember looking at him in a strange way. i remember thinking that my face felt strange in the look it suddenly had. he told me, without prompting, that my friend's son had killed himself. period. a fact. nothing more, nothing less. he hung himself. is that to go? what?

it was sometime after 6:37 when i heard this news.

i called her cell. she answered. i asked her if she needed me. she said no, she had "people" with her. i said ok, told her that i love her, and hung up the phone.

i went about my business for another few minutes. i couldn't concentrate. i called another friend, who is a mutual friend of ours. surely she was with my friend. she didn't answer. i left a message. i figured she was the "people" who were there with my friend. i wanted to give them space.

but five minutes later, my friend called back. she didn't know the news. she hadn't heard anything.

immediate panic.

if she wasn't there, who was there with our friend?! at her house where her son was still hanging in the doorway to her bedroom? who was there? if we weren't, who fucking was?

the next thing i knew, i was back across the river. we had to get there. we had to get to her house. we had to hold her. i think this is where the term "support" comes from. we had to support our friend. we had to hold her up or she might stop being.

her child.

her baby.

her homecoming king.

her football star.

her beautiful boy.

the young man she has known intimately since he took his first breath 18 years ago.

we walked into the house. the police didn't want us to go in, but there was our friend. alone. standing alone. sure, her neighbors were there. they are great people. but they are not her "people".

she did need me. i should have known immediately. she wouldn't have answered her phone if she didn't. she did need our friend. we are her people.

i am one of her people. i didn't know it until last night sometime after 6:37, but i am one of her people.

i am one of her people who listened to her heart breaking yesterday.

my friend is one of her people who is caring for the little brothers left behind.

we are her people who won't leave her alone.

we are her people who are temporarily taking over her life.

we are her people who don't allow the gossip girls access to her.

we are her people who find phone numbers, make appointments, and leave messages.

we are her people who make her a dinner she will eat.

we are her people who rub her head until she finally falls asleep.

we are her people who have built a fortress of love, compassion, and caring around her.

God has blessed me by giving me this friend to love.

i am thankful.

i am happy to be one of her people.

i believe i have made a difference in her life.

and i know she has made a difference in mine.

my sad friend.

we are her people checking on her husband in the middle of the night. God help this family. Please.