“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.” ― Richard Adams, Watership Down.

Today I lost an old friend. Honestly, I probably lost him long ago, but today he left this world.

I found out yesterday that he had stage 4 liver cancer which had metastasized into his lungs. It hit me rather hard. Not only was he an old friend, but he was a past lover. 10 years ago, I was very young and not in anything even reassembling control of my mental illness; I was hardly even willing to acknowledge it. I had also recently exited an abusive relationship. I wasn’t okay. He was a great friend and a very caring partner. Unfortunately, I was in no mental state to reciprocate, even though I didn’t know it at the time, and I hurt him badly as a result. I regret letting the shame of my actions get in the way of our friendship.

When I found out about his illness, there was so much emotion I couldn’t make sense of all of it. I hardly knew what I was feeling, let alone what to say to him. I decided to wait to get things a little more in check before saying anything, and I feel like I lost my chance.

He was a kind and compassionate individual, who loved and cared for a young, broken girl who couldn’t love or care for themself. We may not always have agreed, but he was kind and respectful. He was taken from this world far too early. Tonight I will remember him; his warmth, his voice, his kindness, and his touch. I may have lost the chance to make peace with him in this life, but I will ask Hel to give him a message of love and caring and regret.

“You loved me when I couldn’t love myself. You tried to fix me when I believed I was beyond repair.

I’m sorry to have lost you.

I’m sorry the world has lost you.

It will be a darker place without you.”

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