A Letter to Nick, Who Killed Himself on Wednesday
On Wednesday night, one of my best friends and former business partner, Nick, took his own life.
I want to start by saying that I’m sorry. I’m sorry you felt so alone, so hopeless, so afraid. I’m sorry that you felt these things. I can only imagine what was happening inside you in the days leading up to Wednesday, and what it must have been like in the moments before you tied that rope around your neck and looped it through your security gate. I am so, so sorry that you went through that.
I don’t understand why you did it. Everything seemed fine. We spoke a few days ago, and you seemed to be your normal bubbly self. You spoke about your plans for the future. We joked. You asked me how I was doing. It was you that encouraged me when I was going through a difficult time just two weeks before.
Why didn’t you just tell me? Why didn’t you just give me a clue? You know that no matter what, had you said you needed me, I would have been there. I would have jumped in the car and come to wherever you were. I would have stayed with you for as long as was necessary. Minutes, hours, days. It would not have mattered. It wouldn’t have mattered, because you mattered. You matter to me!
You were one of the last good guys, Nick. You were one of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever known. Sure, we argued from time to time, but what friends don’t? Especially friends trying to build a business together. To me, being business partners was always secondary to our friendship. Even as I type this, I’m expecting an iMessage notification to pop up on my screen with a message from you. I really want that notification to pop up.
We trusted each other. We always did. It’s because we trusted each other that I am so frustrated. Why didn’t you trust me enough to tell me you were struggling?
I often think of people that commit suicide as selfish. Selfish because of the mess they leave behind. Selfish because of the pain their deaths cause their loved ones. I don’t think of you as selfish, Nick. You often hear the loved ones of people that have killed themselves say that they are angry. I can understand that, but I’m not angry with you. I’m frustrated because I can’t do anything to help you now. It’s too late. Im frustrated and confused, but more than anything else, my heart is breaking for you.
I can’t imagine what state of mind you were in as you made that final decision. I can’t imagine the depths to which you must have sunk in the last few days. I’ve had horrendous days. Days where I could not see the way out. But deep inside, I knew that things would change and get better. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be so low and so absolutely hopeless that the only thing that makes sense is to take your own life. I think of you sitting in your apartment, alone, with tears streaming down your face, and deciding that all you could do to stop the pain and the fear was to kill yourself.
I’m sad. Not for me. For you.
I hate that there is now not one single thing I can do to make you feel better, make you smile, or come up with a plan to fix whatever problems you were facing. I hate the fact that I can’t bring you back. Why didn’t you just talk to me, Nick?
I was here. I was right here!
Whenever someone young dies, you hear people say things like, “It’s such a waste.” You were 34, and your death is a waste. It is a waste because you would have been an incredible husband, an amazing dad, a hugely successful businessman. You were an awesome friend, and would have been an awesome friend to many more people in the years to come. You would have been such a massive part of so many people’s lives. You would have loved your future wife like no other man could. You would have raised kids that felt loved and protected. You would have built businesses and employed dozens, if not hundreds, of people. You would have been supportive and encouraging to many, many friends. Just like you were to me.
You were a great guy, Nick. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for the lessons you taught me — in business and in life. Thank you for those times I was struggling and moments after telling you that I was, my phone would ring. Thank you for always listening, always encouraging, always uplifting.
I’m sorry that you were hurting so badly. If you gave me clues, I’m sorry that I missed them. I’m sorry that you felt you had no other options. I’m sorry that you were dealing with the problems that drove you to such a low point. Im sorry you felt you couldn’t talk to me. Knowing you, you probably didn’t want to “bother anyone”. Please know that you could never have bothered me. I’m sorry that you were alone as you put the rope around your neck. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to stop you. I’m sorry that there wasn’t anybody there to stop you.
You’ve left behind a lot of people that love you. I know that any pain I feel because I’ve lost you, dwindles in comparison to the pain you must have been in.
You used to speak to me about legacy. It was important to you. Please know this: Your legacy is not defined by how you ended your life. Your legacy is defined by the lives you touched and the people, like me, who can say, “Nick made a difference in my life.” That was you buddy. You made a difference.
You will always, always be in my heart. Rest easy now my friend.
I love you!
If you are struggling with something, no matter how big or how small, PLEASE talk to someone. You may not feel like it, but know that there are people that care about you more than you could possibly imagine. They are there for you. They may not have all the answers, but they will stand with you and take every step alongside you. You are not alone, even when it feels like you are. People care. It’s not always abundantly clear, but they do.
Let this also be a reminder to be there for one another. Make yourself available, listen, inconvenience yourself if you must, but be there! Let people know you care.