I wanna say it was about 2 years ago now that I found out someone that was very important in my life was dead. Death is not an exciting topic and is devestating for all involved. I met my friend when I was in treatment for my addictions. He was like a brother to me but because he was older he was more of a father figure, up to that point I never really related to my father. My friend was a big strong imposing figure with tattoos and piercing but was also one of the kindest "teddy bear" a type a person you could ever meet. Dealing with lifelong addiction problems together a deep bond was formed. After he and I left the treatment center we stayed in touch for several years. His wife and son had a place in the adirondacks that was a great escape for me to go up and hike, swim and shoot the breeze with my good friend. As addictions and other diseases do, the using began again.
I relapsed sometime in 2002 and after a few months of using heavily my friend suggested to me that I come up there, get away, clear my head and my body for a few days and because I valued what he said so much, I did take the up north trip. That weekend was a blur of withdrawls, but I do remember, till this day, the words he spoke to me when I was beating myself up. He said " you could have cancer, get it treated, be a-okay, then it comes back for no reason. This is like alcoholism.....so treat it again" It was a very Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) solution to my huge problems, but for me it had some use. I began treating my problem but was very unaware that my friend had big problems of his own.
A year or so later when I was picking up the pieces again, I found out my friend was using heroin and not for fun. People in his life had no idea and it had came so far as his wife was pregnant with his first child. He called and talked and visited and talked and I do believe tried and talked some more. Eventually his only child was born, a beautiful baby girl. Nobody really knows what happened then. Even after seeing him a couple more times, he never wanted to talk about his wife leaving with his child because he couldnt stop using, but when he did he understood, all the while his new friends who didnt know the truth about him because he couldnt stop using and he never talked about the war that was going on inside for his soul. He knew the reality of the situation but was more comfortable running from it.
I moved to North Carolina in August of 2004, seeing him a week before I left. In the Spring of 2005 he called and asked if I would let him live with me down here to get clean. We had a plane ticket and a plan. I never heard from him again. I didnt know where his wife lived and noone to tell me where or why or what happened. I feared the worst. A year later I found out that he died from a drug induced cardiac arrest at the age of 36. I found out from an old friend. The whole ordeal was incredibly sad. This was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known and will always have a profound influence on my life and at 36 he died. Noone to call out to, no real friends, family left him, this is not that way to go. He could have chose something different. I have never been at peace with this because it was hard to grieve almost a year after someone died and with drugs its hard to know what to feel because so many decisions are made that would not happen if the person was in their right mind. Sometimes the pain is too much and there is a reason in everything. I do think about him, I have reminders in my tattoos, and in my lifestyle. I will not go out like that and I hope others dont either. So I am saying goodbye to my friend Sean, may you rest in peace the war is over we love you.........